Clark and Taylor Counties Short-Changed as Nation's Top Voting Machine Vendor is Yet To Deliver Materials for Election Just 12 Days Away...
By John Gideon on 3/23/2007, 2:09pm PT  

Blogged by John Gideon, VotersUnite.Org

The country's largest supplier of voting machines, ES&S, is at it again. BRAD BLOG readers will remember last year's extraordinary string of ES&S failures and meltdowns week after week during the primary elections and then general election across the country. Last year the excuse for late delivery of materials and other related failures in scores of states and counties was that everyone wanted materials all at the same time and ES&S was just too busy. So what's their excuse this time?

According to John Washburn's excellent blog Washburn's World, election officials in Clark and Taylor Counties in Wisconsin are still awaiting delivery of Personal Electronic Ballots (PEB), memory cards, and paper ballots, and they have an election in just 12 days; April 3...

What does this late delivery mean to the counties? Well, first and foremost this is Wisconsin, which has a large "Snow Bird" population. Those are the folks who live up north in the spring, summer and fall, and down south during the winter months; "Snow Birds" are typically citizens of the northern states and tend to vote absentee. The state has less than 12 days to get the ballots, stuff the envelopes, get them into the mail and then hope they get to their intended addressees in time to mark the ballots and send them back before the deadline. Good luck.

Thanks to ES&S, that may not be possible now.

The other obvious reason that late delivery is a problem is that voting machines must be tested. "Logic and Accuracy" tests must be conducted to (theoretically) ensure the machines are accurate. Those tests cannot be performed until the county has the PEBs and memory cards and they must be performed in enough time to solve any newly revealed problems. Not that we'd expect any from ES&S, right?

No wonder Miller Co. Arkansas Election Administrator Robby Selph resigned from his job recently saying this about Election Systems and Software, Inc.:

The reason I am leaving is the provider of the Ivotronics [ES&S] and related software lacks competency to make their equipment work timely and effectively. They... make a difficult job impossible to do. They can’t spell, meet deadlines, send documents to the right address or code elections correctly. They leave races off the ballot for us to correct, they can’t program their software to work and you have to hand add the results. And they don’t return phone calls. The ES&S people in Arkansas are capable but the people I have dealt with in the home office in Omaha prevent them from being effective. They are also mean-spirited when you try to get them to correct the numerous and recurring errors.

Good luck Wisconsin!