E-voting vendors keep a lower profile

The perception that voting-systems vendors have influence over election officials seems to be fading, said John Gideon, co-director and information manager at VotersUnite.

The Election Center, an organization of the National Association of Election Officials, is a case in point, Gideon said. The center holds an annual conference and a number of smaller education and training events throughout the year.

In past years, the Election Center “used to very proudly advertise the fact that at their conferences, Diebold was paying for dinners or that the welcoming party was being paid for” by Election Systems and Software, Gideon said. “I noticed in the EC’s latest flyer for their [2008] conference that they make no mention at all of any of the vendors.”

The North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting published the agenda for the Election Center’s 2005 conference on its Web site, confirming that Diebold Election Systems (now Premier Election Solutions), ES&S and Sequoia Voting Systems — all makers of widely used voting machines — sponsored the conference’s social events. The brochure for the 2008 conference, held in Dallas earlier this month, doesn’t include vendors’ names.  

However, sponsoring conferences isn’t the only way vendors interact with election officials. In many cases, election administrators allow vendors to test their own products for security and compliance, said Rosemary Rodriguez, chairwoman of the Federal Election Assistance Commission.

“That’s not the way to assure the voters that you’ve checked it,” she said.
͌

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

Featured

  • Contracting
    8 prototypes of the border walls as tweeted by CBP San Diego

    DHS contractors face protests – on the streets

    Tech companies are facing protests internally from workers and externally from activists about doing for government amid controversial policies like "zero tolerance" for illegal immigration.

  • Workforce
    By Mark Van Scyoc Royalty-free stock photo ID: 285175268

    At OPM, Weichert pushes direct hire, pay agent changes

    Margaret Weichert, now acting director of the Office of Personnel Management, is clearing agencies to make direct hires in IT, cyber and other tech fields and is changing pay for specialized occupations.

  • Cloud
    Shutterstock ID ID: 222190471 By wk1003mike

    IBM protests JEDI cloud deal

    As the deadline to submit bids on the Pentagon's $10 billion, 10-year warfighter cloud deal draws near, IBM announced a legal protest.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.