22 June 2005

Corporate control of the election process

John Gideon - June 22, 2005

Those who hold the sacred trust of overseeing the election procedures and voting systems in this country are an alphabet-soup of organizations. The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS); the National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED), the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), the Elections Assistance Commission (EAC); the Election Center. What do these groups have in common? They either receive their funding from the vendors or are greatly influenced by those who do receive funding from the vendors. We can only hope that the EAC can resist the influence. The others haven't.

Who are these "vendors"? The vendors are the corporate face on our elections systems ­ the for-profit companies that develop and sell the equipment used to run our elections. They are those who have the most to gain from the influence they buy through their donations and dues to the alphabet soup, and that influence is considerable. They include names like Diebold, Elections Systems and Software (ES&S), Sequoia Voting Systems, Hart InterCivic, Accenture, UniSys, Accupoll, and more. In fact they are all proudly named on the list of corporate affiliates of NASS.


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