MicroVote and ES&S Negligence Places Indiana Primaries in Jeopardy
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By Warren Stewart, VoteTrustUSA
April 20, 2006
Uncertified Software and the Potential for "Vote Volatility" Threaten the Integrity of Primaries Less Than Two Weeks Away
"In situations where we have not performed up to our own high expectations we apologize. Personally I apologize for that," John Groh (pictured at right), vice president, Election Systems and Software (ES&S)
[The MicrVote Infinity equipment sold to 47 Indiana Counties] "is not an application capable of guaranteeing a primary election on May 2, 2006, without any problems … because of potential vote volatility issues." MicroVote Infinity President James Reis
Indiana Election Commission was informed at a hearing yesterday that the Indianapolis-based MicroVote has installed uncertified voting system software in 47 counties. The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reported today that MicroVote filed only on Tuesday - two weeks before the primary election – for federal certification that is required as a prerequisite for state certification. According to the newspaper, MicroVote “is waiting on required documentation from an independent testing lab that the software meets federal election standards. That testing could be completed by Friday or next week.”
Meanwhile it was also revealed that in 27 other Indiana counties Election Systems & Software (ES&S) had also installed uncertified software in addition to a relentless series of “glitches ranging from missing ballot instructions to software that can‘t handle school board races. The failure of the two vendors leaves 74 0f the state’s 92 counties scrambling to find a way to legally conduct elections on May 2. Both vendors face fines as high as $300,000 for each violation and could be prevented from doing business in Indiana for up to five years.
Apolgies from officials of both MicroVote and ES&S publicaly for their negligence were hardly sufficient to satisfy the Secretary of state and the Election commission.
An article in the Decatur Daily Democrat, entile "Election Thrown Into Disarray, reported:
“Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the IEC, said yesterday, “We’re going to make sure these elections [on May 2] work for anybody,” then added, “The most disturbing thing I heard here was these guys knew it wasn’t certified and they went out and installed it. That can’t be tolerated.”
The vice-chairman of the IEC, S. Anthony Long, remarked, “We have operated for years on the credibility of our [voting system] vendors. That credibility, in my mind, has been severely shaken. If we find overt and willful violations, I want the world to know that is not something I’m going to tolerate.”
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