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

  • Workforce
    White House rainbow light shutterstock ID : 1130423963 By zhephotography

    White House rolls out DEIA strategy

    On Tuesday, the Biden administration issued agencies a roadmap to guide their efforts to develop strategic plans for diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA), as required under a as required under a June executive order.

  • Defense
    software (whiteMocca/Shutterstock.com)

    Why DOD is so bad at buying software

    The Defense Department wants to acquire emerging technology faster and more efficiently. But will its latest attempts to streamline its processes be enough?

Stay Connected