The Cherokee Nation’s Election Commission on Dec. 10 unanimously voted to purchase election equipment from Texas-based Hart InterCivic with the expectations of running its own elections in 2015. Election Services Director Connie Parnell said she first contacted the Tribal Rights Employment Office to see if there were any Cherokee-owned election manufacturers from which the EC could purchase the equipment. After learning there were no such companies, the EC moved forward with finding a provider. “There is not a lot of companies left. They’ve all bought out each other,” Parnell said. “And of those that are left – ES&S, Dominion, Hart InterCivic – those are your three major companies that produce election equipment. And they are the manufacturers. They aren’t the middle man.” Parnell said she contacted five companies but only two were interested in working toward the EC’s goal of running its own elections, Hart InterCivic being one.
“Hart InterCivic, they came right up. They’re from Austin. They came up, brought their equipment, set up,” Parnell said. “(Commissioners) Shawna Calico, Carolyn (Allen) and I set with her (Hart InterCivic representative) for three hours. We had a list of things we wanted to see this equipment do for our elections here, and we had our list and we went down and fired stuff at her and she answered everything we were looking at.”
According to the equipment and pricing form, the EC is to pay $200,290 for 30 precinct-based ballot-scanning units that will include ballot boxes and audio cards within the units as well as 10 additional mobile ballot boxes. Also included in the purchase is management software, which is all the software needed to run the election. Other hardware includes three personal computers, one laptop, two laser printers as well as professional services, training, licensing and support for the first year.
In the past, the EC has hired outside companies such as Automated Election Services and Unisyn to run the tribe’s election. However, hiring outside vendors have cost the EC more money than it would spend on purchasing the equipment and running the election itself, officials said.
Full Article: EC votes to buy election equipment.