We wish we were kidding, but it seems that last Thursday, as ES&S iVotronic touch-screen machines were failing across West Virginia (now reported in at least 6 different counties there), Secretary of State Betty Ireland was presenting an "award of merit" to ES&S vice-president Gary Greenhalgh...
As Kim Zetter reports today at Wired's "Threat Level" blog:
Gary Greenhalgh, as ES&S's vice president of sales, helped the company win a $17-million contract to supply machines to West Virginia in 2005 and was the company's point person for dealing with election officials until he left ES&S.
Last week, Ireland gave him a Medallion Award from the National Association of Secretaries of State at a special ceremony. The award came the same week that voters in several West Virginia counties reported that ES&S's iVotronic touchscreen machines were flipping their votes from Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to Republican rival John McCain.
With regard to Greenhalgh's recent departure from ES&S, the Charleston Gazette reports that neither Greenhalgh nor ES&S would discuss the reason for his leaving the company. His wife, Jane Greenhalgh, is now project director for ES&S in West Virginia, but when the Gazette asked him whether his wife worked for ES&S, Greenhalgh replied, "I have no idea" and refused to answer any questions.
The Gazette's coverage tells us that Ireland, when giving Greenhalgh the award, recognized him as "a pioneer in the use of technology in the election process."
It was the ES&S iVotronic which "pioneered" the loss of some 18,000 votes in the Democratic-stronghold of Sarasota County, FL in 2006. The completely disappeared votes led to loss of Democrat Christine Jennings to her Republican opponent Vern Buchanan in the U.S. House race in Florida's 13th district by 369 votes.
The Gazette also goes on to remind us of just one of the many studies, Ohio's "EVEREST" analysis, which found the ES&S iVotronic touch-screens can be "compromised and modified without detection, conceivably occurring before, during or after an election," presenting "serious risks to election integrity."
That independent analysis led OH SoS Jennifer Brunner to recommend decertification of the ES&S iVotronic system. Apparently it led WV SoS Ireland to keep using them across the entire state and give the recently-resigned ES&S vice-president an award.
Links to our recent stories on ES&S vote-flips and other failures follows, along with our recommended list of steps to take should you find your vote flipping on one of these wholly unverifiable voting machines...
Recent ES&S iVotronic Failures as covered by The BRAD BLOG:
- 10/18/08: ES&S Vote-Flipping Seen in 2 WV Counties
- 10/21/08: Election Filmmaker Sees Own Vote Flipped From Dem in TN
- 10/22/08: Candidate Names Missing on Final Review Screens in SC
- 10/22/08: Votes Reportedly Flip R to D in Decatur Cty, TN
- 10/23/08: Vote Flips 5 Times From D to R in Another WV County
- 10/24/08: Straight-Party Votes Flip D to R in TX
- 10/25/08: Screen Blanks Out, Another Obama Vote Lost in TN
- 10/26/08: DNC Claims They're On it, Just Can't Tell Us What They're Doing
- 10/27/08: ES&S Vote-Flipping Now Seen in 6 WV Counties
And since the DNC and Obama campaign refuse to take any steps to assure your vote may actually be counted accurately on one of these machines...
What to do if it happens to you:
- Call poll supervisors to observe the problem.
- Fill out a problem report.
- Refuse to vote on that machine.
- Request that the machine be taken out of service.
- Get a serial number of the machine if possible (may be difficult in many cases).
- Tell other voters in line which machine it was and that they should NOT vote on that machine!
- Report it to county/town election office.
- Report it to the Secretary of State.
- Call local reporters and tell them the story.
- Call voter problem hotlines (eg. 866-MYVOTE1 and 866-OUR-VOTE) and report it.
- Contact bloggers and Election Integrity websites.
- Raise holy hell.