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The Approaching 2006 E-Voting 'Train Wreck'-Investigations and Problems Continue to Spread

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As the Voters Continue to Pay the Price

And as We Continue to Connect the Dots the Mainstream Media Still Won't ...

When asked by a reporter, "Which is harder to manage, your two children or ES&S?" Marion County, Indiana Clerk Doris Ann Sadler told the Indianapolis Star this week, "Oh, ES&S, definitely. My children are really very easy. In fact, at times I think my children would have done a better job with the voting machines. And they're (ages) 7 and 4."

The Electronic Voting Machine Vendor locomotive is still running away down the track at an alarming speed. However, this week some states and county election officials seem to be beginning to notice and are now sending out signals that they intend to either stop the train or barring that -- at least ensure that companies such as Election Systems and Software (ES&S) do not profit too much from their arrogance, ineptitude and now epidemic failures.

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Legal complaints against the company were filed this week in West Virginia and Indiana to add to the one previously under way in Oregon. Threats have been heard from Texas, Arkansas, Ohio and elsewhere. Election officials have been forced to change voting procedures in many states and counties to accommodate for ES&S' growing array of failures.

Meanwhile no one seems to be talking about the people who will be most affected by this train wreck; the voters ...


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Memory card failures, as reported in our previous "Train Wreck" articles have been a huge problem for Summit County, Ohio. This past week the Akron Beacon Journal reported that even after testing and retesting memory cards, they were still failing at an alarming rate. In the last round of testing before next week's primary, 17 memory cards failed. The counties voting machine vendor, ES&S promises to provide back-up cards that are pre-loaded with ballot information for the different county precincts. County election board members have expressed concern for the failures and the prospect that the failure rate of memory cards may prove to be "catastrophic" according to one board member.

Also of great concern to the County Board of Elections is ES&S' plan for technical support for the county. It seems that ES&S has given up on any possibility of not having chaos and they have decided to distance themselves from the county in the bargain. In order to do this, they've come up with a brilliant plan. ES&S has hired 19 students from the University of Akron who will get a one-day training program and who will then be ES&S' technical representatives in the county. One member of the board said, "It's just not right and will not be tolerated. You guys are supposed to be the gold standards of optical scan, and I'm amazed.''

Apparently ES&S has given up on maintaining their reputation in this county. Who ends up suffering for this arrogance? The voters.


In an April 24 letter to Texas county elections officials, Ann McGeehan, the Texas Director of Elections authorized the many counties who have not received programming media or paper ballots from their vendor to print paper ballots and use those in elections to take place on May 13.

Though ES&S was not named in the letter there was no doubt that's the company that McGeehan was speaking about when she said:

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"We recognize that this kind of service from a certified voting systems vendors [sic] is completely unacceptable and disturbing. We will be pursuing all appropriate remedies from a state level that are available to us."

Also in an editorial from the San Antonio Express-News we learn that Bexar County (San Antonio) is one of the Texas counties involved. The editorial gives a very good reason that the county and its voters should get very good service from ES&S:

Bexar County spent $8 million on the ES&S system in 2003.

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John is the Executive Director of VotersUnite.Org

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