'Lawful rulemaking' bypassed in state's adoption of Hart Intercivic e-voting machines, contract...
By Brad Friedman on 5/21/2009, 3:55pm PT  

Good news! "Hawaii's illegal use of electronic voting machines and the illegal transmission of vote results over the Internet" has been halted, following a decision from Judge Joseph E. Cardoza, who issued an injunction last night, according to Disappeared News. As Larry Gellar reports from our 50th state...

The suit (Babson v. Cronin, Civ No. 08-1-0115(3) ) was brought by attorney Lance Collins on behalf of five citizens of Maui against Hawaii’s Chief Elections Officer (see background on Disappeared News in these articles). The suit challenged three aspects of the voting process, according to attorney Collins:

1. The use of electronic voting machines was not adopted through lawful rulemaking in accordance with the Hawai'i Administrative Procedure Act (HAPA).

2. The use of the Internet and/or telephone lines to transmit vote counts was not adopted through lawful rulemaking (HAPA).

3. The use of the Internet and/or telephone lines to transmit vote counts is not allowed under current state law.
...
An administrative hearing officer last year, in a ruling that was “extremely critical of Kevin Cronin, the state's chief elections officer” (Honolulu Advertiser,Voting-machine deal in jeopardy, 8/10/2008), found that the Office of Elections acted in bad faith in awarding the contract for voting computers to Hart. The contract was to be cancelled at the end of the year. This new ruling by Judge Cardoza adds that the machines were used in a way that is contrary to Hawaii law.

Honolulu Advertiser's coverage today adds:

The Office of Elections awarded a $43.4 million contract to Hart InterCivic last year for paper eScan and electronic eSlate voting machines through the 2016 elections, with an option to extend the contract to 2018. Election Systems & Software, which bid $18.1 million for the contract, challenged the award.

An administrative hearings officer determined the contract was actually worth $52.8 million and was "clearly unreasonable." The officer found it was too late to cancel the contract before the 2008 elections but ruled the contract should be voided at the end of last year.

And speaking of Hawaii and very disturbing elections, we'll have yet another story, along those lines, here at The BRAD BLOG, hopefully next week...Aloha!