Dominion Voting Systems

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National: Election Equipment Vendors Play a Key, and Underexamined, Role in U.S. Democracy | Take Care

Every vote in the United States — for city council, state representative, or president — is cast using materials and equipment manufactured by third party vendors. There are vendors large and small, but the American election equipment industry is dominated by three vendors: ES&S, Hart, and Dominion. These vendors manufacture the machines that approximately 92% of eligible voters use on election day — and they wield extraordinary power with significant implications for our democracy. Because of this, it’s critical that elected officials and advocates pay attention to the role vendors play in the security and transparency of American election systems. Perhaps most concerning are vendor efforts to keep secret the technology upon which American elections rely while at the same time feteing state and local election officials with expensive trips and meals. Vendors have actively and increasingly pushed back on efforts to study and analyze the equipment that forms the basic foundation of our democratic processes. Read More

Louisiana: Voting machine contract winner defends selection | Associated Press

The company chosen to replace Louisiana’s years-old voting machines on Wednesday dismissed suggestions the bid process was mismanaged, saying a losing bidder for the lucrative work offered no “factual or legal grounds sufficient” to disrupt the contract plans. Dominion Voting Systems filed its official response to a protest of the contract award that Election Systems and Software lodged with the state procurement office. Dominion said its competitor simply wants another chance at winning the contract, without offering substantive reasons for throwing out the contract award. “Dominion disputes all allegations of impropriety, undue haste, carelessness or lack of diligence by the state in reviewing the proposals, unfairness, or any other disadvantage claimed by ES&S in its protest,” Trippe Hawthorne, an attorney representing Dominion, wrote in the vendor’s response letter. Read More

New Jersey: There’s Money for Upgrading Election Security but Little for Vital Paper Trail | NJ Spotlight

Despite expert opinion that, without paper ballots, New Jersey’s election system is far from secure, state allots negligible amount to remedy that weakness. New Jersey plans to spend $10.2 million to enhance election security over the next several years, but will use only part of it to conduct a small pilot project involving what some experts say is the most important change the state needs to make: moving to a system of paper ballots. The Center for American Progress has rated New Jersey’s election system among the least secure in the nation, in large part because there is no way to independently audit ballot results should a hacker meddle with the programming of one or more election machines. Pending legislation (A-3991) calls for the state to upgrade its voting machines to ones that have a paper trail and county clerks agree that change is needed. New Jersey is only taking the smallest step in that direction. Read More

Pennsylvania: Paper’s back as government officials, advocates check out new voting machines | The Morning Call

For three hours Tuesday morning, sales representatives with Election Systems and Software made their pitch in the Lehigh County Government Center, fielding questions about security, services and usability of their latest generation of voting machines. The Omaha, Neb., company is an industry leader in the tools of democracy, making about 55 percent of the machines used in U.S. elections, according to Willie Wesley, an ES&S representative. As part of a demonstration, he fed a stack of ballots into the DS850, a machine that can scan and tabulate 350 paper ballots a minute. The paper whizzed through the chute before being sorted into separate stacks. Read More

Louisiana: Elections chief pushes back on voting machine contract protest | Associated Press

Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin defended the selection of a vendor to replace Louisiana’s years-old voting machines, saying Friday that the evaluation process was done “with a view to ensuring fairness to all participants.” Ardoin filed his formal response to a protest of the lucrative contract award that a losing bidder lodged with the state’s procurement office. The Republican secretary of state said his office “at all times acted in the best interests of the state to secure the best, most cost-effective voting technology for the citizens.” Dominion Voting Systems was the winning vendor. But contract negotiations with Dominion to replace 10,000 early voting and Election Day machines are stalled while the protest filed by Election Systems and Software is under review. Read More

Louisiana: Second vendor wants Louisiana voting machine contract redo | Associated Press

Another losing bidder for Louisiana’s voting machine replacement work is calling for a new selection process and the cancellation of the current contract award. Hart InterCivic sent a letter to the Office of State Procurement supporting the protest filed by a second vendor spurned for the voting machine contract. Hart said the evaluation was “flawed and lacked the fundamental transparency that Louisiana voters deserve.” Contract negotiations with the winning bidder, Dominion Voting Systems, are stalled while the protest is under review. The secretary of state’s office described Dominion as the low bidder for the voting machine replacement, with the company estimating the work would cost between $89 million and $95 million. Bid evaluation and financial documents released by the Office of State Procurement also showed Dominion with the least-expensive proposals for either leasing or buying voting machines. Read More

Louisiana: State puts acquisition of new voting machines on hold after losing bidder protests | StateScoop

Louisiana’s negotiations to replace about 10,000 voting machines that are more than a decade old hit a snag this week when one of the firms that lost protested how the contract was awarded. The Associated Press reports that the state’s procurement office told Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to hold off finalizing a deal for new ballot equipment after Election Systems & Software, the largest manufacturer of voting equipment in the United States, filed an objection after losing the bidding process. Ardoin had announced Aug. 9 that his office had selected Dominion Voting Systems to replace Louisiana’s current crop of voting machines, which were purchased in 2005. According to the AP, ES&S complained that as part of the bid process, Ardoin’s office published standards that only Dominion’s hardware could meet. Those standards were revoked, and the secretary of state’s office has said they weren’t used in the evaluation process. Dominion has until Sept. 7 to respond to ES&S’s protest, but until the dispute is resolved, Louisiana cannot move forward on replacing its outdated voting equipment, which could cost the state as much as $95 million. Read More

Louisiana: State delays voting machine contract talks amid protest | Associated Press

Louisiana is delaying contract negotiations with the winning bidder for the state’s voting machine replacement work, while it considers a protest of the contract award. Paula Tregre, director of the Office of State Procurement, has told Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin to refrain from conducting any contract talks until the outcome of the protest is settled, according to documents provided to The Associated Press on Tuesday. “The stay shall remain in effect until you are notified in writing that it has been lifted,” Tregre wrote in a Friday letter to Ardoin. She cited a state law that calls for stalling negotiations during the protest of a contract award unless the contract is deemed urgently needed “to protect the substantial interests of the state,” a threshold Tregre apparently didn’t believe was met. Read More

Nevada: Voting machine problems were much bigger than first thought | Reno Gazette Journal

For hundreds of Nevada voters and candidates, June’s primary election did not go as planned. Officials said then that a spate of well-publicized voting machine problems — including glitches that left some candidates off of ballots or displayed the wrong slate of ballot choices — only affected a small handful of voters. But a Reno Gazette Journal review of public records found more than 300 reported machine malfunctions across the state. More than 100 were recorded in Washoe County alone. Those software hiccups contributed to a double-voting snafu that forced officials to call a rare special election in Clark County. Records reveal they also saw Washoe threatened with at least one election-challenging lawsuit amid widespread reports of candidates being left off the ballot. Now, little more than two months ahead of the general election, elections officials have said in interviews with the RGJ they don’t know how many improperly displayed ballots might have gone unnoticed by voters and unreported to poll workers during the primary. Read More

Louisiana: ES&S protests Louisiana’s voting machine contact | Associated Press

One of the losing bidders for Louisiana’s voting machine replacement work wants a re-do, saying the bid process was “irresponsibly rushed and fundamentally flawed.” Election Systems and Software filed a formal protest late Thursday (Aug. 23) with the state’s procurement office, objecting to the choice of another vendor for the lucrative contract. The protesting company said the process used to choose Dominion Voting Systems to replace 10,000 early voting and Election Day machines was mishandled from the start by Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin, his office and the team that evaluated the bids. Read More