Secretary of State Mark Martin has decided to purchase a statewide, integrated voting system, including new voting equipment, through a Nebraska-based company although its proposal costs millions more than systems offered by two other companies. The company, Elections Systems & Software (ES&S), submitted a proposal costing $29,928,868; California-based Unisyn Voting Solutions submitted $24,407,805; and Austin, Texas-based Hart InterCivic proposed $18,789,997, Martin spokesman Chris Powell said Monday. When it requested proposals from companies, Martin’s office said they couldn’t exceed $30 million. “The primary factor in the selection of ES&S was capabilities,” Powell said.
Elections Systems & Software’s “system met every requirement that we asked for,” Powell explained in an email. “Also, we felt that ES&S would be able to implement a new system in a more timely manner.” Martin is a Republican from Prairie Grove who is serving his second term.
The secretary of state hasn’t yet signed a contract with Elections Systems & Software, Powell said. “This was not a bidding process. This was a request for proposal, and the secretary selected a proposed system. Whenever funding becomes available and we are prepared to purchase the system, a contract will be drafted and signed at that time, ” he said.
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