Warns That 'None of the Vendors Have a System That Voters Can Trust'
ALSO: Paper Ballot Printing Problems Stop Early Voting In Several States
By John Gideon on 4/7/2006, 8:07am PT  

Guest Blogged by John Gideon

Yesterday our friends at OpEdNews.Com featured an article that includes an interview with the former CEO of AccuPoll, a voting machine vendor that recently went bankrupt. In the article by Sean Greene of electionline.org the CEO, Dennis Vadura is quoted as saying:

"I am not happy about the outcome, or the state of the industry. I think that something needs to be done. I'm not sure what it is, it probably doesn't include AccuPoll at this point, but I do not feel that any of the vendors has a system that voters can trust. I think that vendors outright misrepresent the robustness, stability, and security of their systems. You just have to look at the litany of problems and it points at one thing, bad fundamental design, and not enough checks and balances. I also wonder why the other vendors were so adamant in fighting a VVPAT system requirement. They spent much more in fighting it than in implementing it."

Now, finally, an industry insider and 'mover-and-shaker' has stepped forward to echo what many of us have been saying for the past two or three years. The remaining vendors are doing all they can to prove that Mr. Vadura is right. That fact is borne out by the following two stories:

In Nebraska, home state for Elections Systems and Software (and home of one of the owners of this private corporation, Omaha World-Herald), 69 of 93 counties do not have their paper ballots for early voting even though early voting began on Monday. Nebraska joins Indiana and other states that are not able to conduct elections because ES&S cannot provide the ballots that they are contractually responsible to deliver. In defense of it's partially owned subsidiary, the World-Herald misinforms it's readers with this gem:

"A new type of ballot is necessary to comply with a federal law, the Help America Vote Act. A portion of the law took effect Jan. 1, requiring local governments that use paper ballots to use a standardized form that can be read by an optical scanner."

There is no new type of ballot required by HAVA and there is no standardized form for optical scanners. This is all just hype to cover-up for the failure of ES&S to do its job.

In another indication of a vendor's failure to meet its contractual duties, the Richmond (IN) Palladium-Item reports that Fidlar Elections, a mid-west representative for Diebold, has failed to deliver paper ballots to 11 Indiana counties that can be read by optical-scanners. The state's mandated absentee voting (early voting) began on Monday and the bad ballots were not reported until Tuesday so all voters who voted on Monday are now being given an opportunity to vote again, when good ballots are received.

Quality control? Apparently not, after all its just elections. As Mr. Vadura correctly states, "You just have to look at the litany of problems and it points at one thing, bad fundamental design, and not enough checks and balances".