By John Gideon on 7/21/2006, 10:48am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Readers of The BRAD BLOG know that the state of Arkansas had a "Train Wreck" in their primary election and that much of the blame was laid at the feet of their voting machine vendor Elections Systems and Software. Now the Associated Press and The Arkansas Democrat Gazette both report that an independent study has been done at the request of the state and the study agrees with what The BRAD BLOG has said all along.

According to the Associated Press article:

InfoSENTRY Services, Inc., a Raleigh, N.C.-based information technology services firm that performed the review, said the firm received below-average ratings from county election officials.

"ES&S was too busy running helter-skelter between Little Rock and Omaha," one county official said in a survey. "The result was a woeful lack of communication with the counties."

Another election official wrote, "This was the most disorganized bunch ever to run an election in Arkansas. They were untruthful in their responses. Their performance left the burden of this election on us and greatly increased the cost."

and they go on to report:

"We also received information that the ES&S project manager in Little Rock was overwhelmed from at least mid-April until relief and replacement resources arrived in early-to-mid May," the report said. "E-mails indicate that the (secretary of state's) office notified ES&S of the resource constraints and severe schedule slippages in mid-April and requested immediate action on this issue."

The report said several county officials questioned whether ES&S would be able to provide the resources necessary for the general election given the delays with providing staff for the primary.

ES&S has the largest slice of the voting machine business in the country. They found it impossible to support a string of state primaries held over a 5 to 6 week time span. How are they ever going to be able to handle a general election where all 50 states vote at the same time?