The Senate’s leading election security advocates blasted the country’s top voting equipment vendors on Wednesday for potentially failing to shore up ballot boxes despite November’s midterm elections already being underway with primaries. Mark Warner, also the top Democrat in the Senate’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, scolded Texas-based Hart InterCivic for failing to cooperate with a security review in his home state of Virginia after that contest. “I am very concerned that there is a lot of chest thumping about how well we did in 2016,” Mr. Warner said during a Senate Rules and Administration Committee’s hearing on election safety — the second on the subject in less than a month. Peter Lichtenheld, vice president of operations for Hart InterCivic, had earlier told lawmakers of the firm’s “strong working relationships” with federal, state and local election officials.
Under questioning from Mr. Warner, he initially explained the more than 100-year-old company had just a few customers in Virginia and that they were soon moving to different systems anyway. But when Mr. Warner continued prodding, Mr. Lichtenheld admitted Hart InterCivic did not provide Virginia with its machines.
Committee Republicans and independents joined Mr. Warner’s warnings.
Despite the grilling, Mr. Lichtenheld fared better than the nation’s largest voting equipment vendor, Nebraska-based Election Systems and Software (ES&S), which provides services in at least 42 states.