NEWS REPORT: ES&S machines accused of flubbing 2002 Dallas
Democrat, vote Republican; election halted
Newspapers Document Major Election Errors Voting machine companies
admit to printing ballots incorrectly, acknowledge programming issues that
miscounted votes; Some elections overturned
Senator Hagel omits disclosure
of voting machine company in personal disclosure documents
Lobbying, kickbacks & bribes
The Associated Press
CONFLICT PROBE LAUNCHED IN STATE'S VOTING MACHINE BUYS
[California] Secretary of State Bill Jones said he will
investigate whether the employee in charge of evaluating voting
machines in California improperly took a job with a voting machine
Louis Dedier, the state's director of voting systems
the last two years, left this month for a job with Omaha, Neb.-based
Election Systems and Software
In announcing Dedier's hiring, the company quoted him as saying,
"I've evaluated several election management vendors over the years,
and ES&S clearly has by far the best election systems and
State law bars former state employees from
influencing decisions in the agencies in which they worked, or from
influencing state decisions while they have an agreement with a
prospective employer. An initiative approved by voters in March is
providing $200 million for California to end its reliance on
Florida-style punch card ballots
were approved by a Voting Systems and Procedures Panel. He told his
supervisor Oct. 9 he had a job offer, but made recommendations at an
Oct. 11 meeting without disclosing the potential conflict, Miller
Baton Rouge Advocate
A judge Monday shot down a prosecutor's
second attempt to delay the trial of longtime lobbyist Lehman
Williamson, 67, is slated to stand trial Oct.
15 on charges of public bribery and conspiracy to commit money
laundering in a case involving former state Elections Commissioner
In the first case against him, he is accused of
giving Fowler cash kickbacks in exchange for department contracts.
Fowler is serving five years in federal prison on federal charges of
filing false tax returns and state charges that he took part in a
kickback scheme involving voting machines.
The Tallahassee Democrat
A former Florida secretary of state profited by being a
lobbyist for both the state's counties and the company that sold
some of them touch-screen voting machines used in last month's
botched primary election.
Sandra Mortham, who served as the
state's top elections official from 1995 to 1999, is a lobbyist for
both Election Systems & Software and the Florida Association of
Counties, which exclusively endorsed the company's touch-screen
machines in return for a commission...
Mortham received a
commission from ES&S for every county that bought its
touch-screen machines. The exact terms have not been disclosed...
A CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Mortham and the association's
former president say there was nothing improper about the deals, but
Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber disagreed...
Marcus, who was the county association's president when the deal was
made, said ES&S was the only election equipment company that
sought the group's endorsement. It agreed to pay the association 0.5
percent of its touch-screen revenues up to $50 million and 0.25
percent on revenues exceeding $50 million.
association's June 2001 endorsement, ES&S received orders
totaling more than $70.6 million from Florida counties. That
includes Miami-Dade County's $24.5 million purchase and Broward
County's $18 million contract. The association will receive about
$300,000 in commissions, according to the agreement.
A former Pinellas County legislator and [Jeb]
Bush's original choice as running mate in 1998, Mortham also oversaw
the Division of Elections as Florida secretary of state six years
Los Angeles Times
Merchants ply state and local government administrators with
entertainment and campaign funds. In turn, understaffed election
officials rely on sales representatives to explain the ever-more
technical workings of the systems they oversee.
binding regulations and with little oversight, these relationships
breed disregard for protecting ballots, obtaining the best equipment
and safeguarding public funds. At worst, close ties erode integrity.
Culp knows it. He left a Maryland prison in September and
lives in a Charlotte, N.C., halfway house, where he is ending a
30-month sentence for accepting 122 bribes and kickbacks worth more
than $134,000 from January 1990 to March 1998.
machines he bought from the salesman who paid him off had enough
problems that he wrote four letters of complaint even as he was
taking the bribes.
Atlanta Journal Constitution
is enlisting the help of lobbyists Thomas Boller and Rusty Sewell,
who contributed a combined $16,000 to Gov. Roy Barnes, $6,000 to Lt.
Gov. Mark Taylor and $2,000 to Secretary of State Cathy Cox.
That easily outpaces the re-election donations of William
Wingate, the lobbyist for Election Systems & Software, who
contributed $7,000 to Barnes, $1,000 to Taylor and $500 to Cox.
The Baton Rouge Advocate
Arkansas, Secretary of State Bill McCuen pleaded guilty to felony
charges that he took bribes, evaded taxes and accepted kickbacks.
Part of the case involved Business Records Corp. [now merged into
Election Systems & Software], a Dallas company that sold
Arkansas computerized systems for recording corporate and voter
Arkansas officials said the scheme
involved...then-BRC employee Tom Eschberger...Eschberger got
immunity from prosecution for his cooperation. Today, he's a top
executive of ES&S [Eschberger became a Vice President of
ES&S see next sidebar].
In Louisiana, former Elections
Commissioner Jerry Fowler is serving a five-year term in federal
prison for taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks in
another voting- machine scandal.
Phil Foster, a salesman for
Sequoia Pacific, is awaiting trial on related charges.
Election Machine Security - vote-counting and ballot-making
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Tom Eschberger, a vice president of Election
Systems & Software, which provided the computers for the
election, said a test conducted soon after the election on the
software and the machine that malfunctioned in a Waianae precinct
showed the machine worked normally.
He said the company did
not know about the problem with the machine until after the Supreme
Court-ordered recount, when a second test on the same machine
detected the malfunction. He said the company is still
Hawaii's primary election was the first major
test of the AIS-100 precinct machines, and Eschberger said
unforeseen problems with a new machine can happen. "But again, in
all fairness, there were 7,000 machines in Venezuela and 500
machines in Dallas that did not have problems," he said.
June 7, 2000
Honolulu Star Bulletin
FIRM ADMITS ERRORS IN COUNTING VOTES FOR HAWAII,
ES&S has felt the most fallout from its
problems in Venezuela, where that nation's highest court suspended
the May 28 elections because of technical glitches in the cards used
to tabulate votes.
Dozens of protesters have chanted
"Gringos get out!" at ES&S technicians working in Venezuela's
election offices. The U.S. Embassy in Caracas has protested the
treatment by secret police of ES&S personnel, including alleged
verbal and physical abuse and threats.
Venezuela sent an air
force jet to Omaha to fetch computers and experts in a last-ditch
effort to fix the problem before the delay was ordered.
Venezuela's president and the head of the nation's election
board accused ES&S of trying to destabilize the country's
electoral process. ES&S denied that, saying 11,200 changes by
election officials in posting thousands of candidates for 6,200
offices were hindering the firm's work.
Honolulu Star Bulletin
Senate President Norman Mizuguchi was expected to
announce details today of a Senate investigation into last year's
election and the malfunction of ballot-counting machines in seven
"This is what the United States is all about, and
the people's right to vote and having this particular process free
from any kind of irregularities is very important," Mizuguchi said.
Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D, Waianae), who is expected to be a
leader of the investigation, said she wants answers about how
decisions were made about the election process.
they manage to turn off the safeguards?" she asked...Late yesterday
afternoon, Hanabusa met with officials from Election Systems &
Software, which supplied the election machines and computers.
Other states have had problems with equipment from the
company Election Systems & Software:
In Dallas, which
uses the same precinct ballot-counting machine as Hawaii, 41,015
votes were initially missed.
Several counties in Maryland
that had used the company's machines for previous elections had
problems with ballots that were improperly printed.
The Virginian-Pilot and The
Ledger-Star, Norfolk, VA
Almost a third of Norfolk's
precincts could not tally voting results Tuesday because of
malfunctioning vote-counting machines, leaving officials scrambling
to do a recount that will affect every contested race in the city.
"This is a bad situation," said Ann Washington, Norfolk's
voter registrar...The affected machines showed totals of zero even
though votes had been cast. Officials suspected that faulty computer
chips were the cause and were unsure if the problem would be
resolved before today.
"Somehow, they lost their ability to
count the votes," Edward O'Neal, vice chairman of the Norfolk
Electoral Board said of the computer chips' programming.
Wichita Eagle (KS)
reversed in Clay County
The discovery of a computer glitch
reversed one outcome from this month's primary elections in Kansas,
and an unsuccessful candidate in another race has based his request
for a special election on alleged technical difficulties.
Clay County, computer results from a County Commission primary
showed challenger Roy Jennings defeating incumbent Jerry Mayo by 22
votes The hand recount, completed Tuesday, revealed Mayo as the
winner -- and by a landslide, 540 votes to 175.
In one ward,
which Mayo carried 242-78, the computer had mistakenly reversed the
totals. And in the absentee voting, which originally showed a 47-44
edge for Jennings, a hand count found Mayo winning 72-19.
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Councilwoman Valerie McDonald yesterday called for an investigation
of voting machine irregularities at polling places in
Lincoln-Lemington, Homewood and the East Hills last week, saying
machines in the city's 12th and 13th wards and other predominantly
black neighborhoods were malfunctioning for much of Election Day.
McDonald said both machines at a Lincoln-Lemington polling
place were out of service for the first three hours, driving away 50
voters. Several machines were in and out of service at 13th Ward
polling places in Homewood and East Hills, smoking and spitting out
jammed and crumpled paper and leaving poll workers to wait hours for
repair by Allegheny County elections division workers.
Workers in the polling places "strongly felt that the
machines were intentionally programmed incorrectly ... and were
sabotaged," McDonald said in a letter to Elections Director Mark
"I vote at Brownsville Elementary in
Crozet. Our voting is done by push button technology. Everything
went fine until I got to the last question...When I pushed the
button beside "No" the machine registered my vote as a "Yes." I
tried this a couple of more times and got the same result. Finally,
I poked my head outside the curtain and asked the "attendant" what I
should do to make the machine register my vote. He explained how the
voting procedure worked...I explained that I understood what I was
supposed to do, but that whenever I made my choice, the opposite
choice lit up. He suggested then that I should intentionally push
the wrong button..." [more]
In the first election I witnessed in South Carolina
(it was 1970, I believe), a voting machine broke down in one of the
largest black precincts in Charleston. It was in the middle of the
morning rush. There were no replacement machines available, and
while a repairman worked on the problem for a couple of hours,
several hundred African-Americans eventually left the precinct
without getting the chance to vote.
I became righteously
indignant, as I often was in those days, but my Charleston friends
were philosophical. It happens every election, they told me. And so
it did. Never the same precinct. Never the same time of day. Never
the same problem with the machine.
But for many elections
afterward, somewhere in Charleston on election day, a voting machine
in a black precinct would break down for an hour or two. Once is an
accident. Twice is incredibly bad luck. Three times or more is a
Atlanta Journal Constitution
Computer troubles have been blamed for ballot discrepancies
in a race that state Sen. Donn Peevy (D-Gwinnett) lost by eight
votes. Frances Duncan, director of the state Election Division in
the secretary of state's office, said Thursday a partial recount
showed 400 fewer ballots cast in the Cates D precinct, 70 more
ballots cast in the Dacula precinct, and 44 more ballots cast in the
The recount was started Wednesday
night at the request of the Republican victor, former Lawrenceville
Mayor Steve Pate, but was halted when the discrepancies appeared,
said county Elections Superintendent Lloyd Harris. Harris blamed the
problem on the computer used to recount the votes. He said an
official from a California computer firm will fly to Georgia on
Monday to make necessary program changes, and the recount won't be
completed until early next week.
Kansas City Star
Late Monday afternoon, Thornburgh's office
told Neuenswander that canvassers had discovered a 3,000-vote
discrepancy in the Douglas County vote tallies. The 3,000 votes
brought Neuenswander's total within 24 votes of Bacon, who received
The close vote might beg a re-count, but the
deadline for such a request was noon Aug. 10. At the time
Neuenswander had no idea he was missing 3,000 votes.
the discovery was bittersweet. ``I don't really know how to react to
it,'' he said Tuesday.
The Texas secretary of state's office has
decided to assign a computer expert and a lawyer as inspectors for
the Dallas city elections on April 4 to check the county's
computerized tabulating equipment.
A spokesman for the
office said Wednesday that the assignments were made after a
briefing by the state attorney general's office, which has been
investigating allegations of vote fraud in the tabulating system
used in the 1985 mayor's race.
Dallas County District
Attorney John Vance said Monday that the attorney general's office
has asked his staff for assistance in the investigation, which
centers on the reliability of the vote-counting machines and whether
they are vulnerable to fraud through subtle changes in computer
THE RECORD, Northern New
About 75 percent of the voting machines in the city
of Passaic failed to work when the polls opened on Election Day,
forcing an undetermined number of voters to use paper ballots during
the morning hours.
An independent consultant who later
examined the machines concluded the problem was due to sabotage,
which has led a Democratic freeholder to refer the matter to the
The Tampa Tribune
Stamper, a 10-year state attorney investigator, usually works on
white-collar crime cases. But his investigation at the supervisor of
elections office involves no crime.
Rather, the probe is
focusing on a ballot count that landed Republican Bruce L. Parker at
the top of the heap election night, but later unseated him in favor
of Democrat Marlene Duffy Young after a court-ordered hand recount.
Todd Urosevich, a vice president of American Information
Systems [now ES&S], which made Polk's troubled ballot-counting
equipment, already has been interviewed by Stamper, and told Stamper
his machines were not responsible for the miscount.
Finally, and most importantly, there is the issue of
security. What steps will our council leaders be taking to secure
the computer system? The initial report does not say.
there were to be unauthorised access to the computer, there could be
amendment of data (for example, 100 Conservative votes suddenly
becoming 100 Labour ones) or there could be scrutiny of data - in
other words, it could be possible to see which candidate a
particular elector has voted for.
Thinking up new ways to
increase turn out at local elections is all very well, but voters
need to be 100 per cent sure that the results are accurate, have not
been tampered with, and that voter secrecy is maintained.
"We have a
problem where voters are being turned away from polls even though
they have the proper identification," said Joe Householder,
spokesman for the Brown campaign. "A potential reason may be that
computers were down, but that is not an excuse. The law is pretty
clear on this."
A computer problem cut off access to the
county's voter registration database for about one hour after polls
opened Saturday afternoon, said Tony Sirvello, administrator of
elections for the Harris County Clerk's Office.
problem affected four polling sites: the Fiesta Mart on Kirby, the
Spring Branch Community Center, Kashmere Multi-Service Center and
the Sunnyside Multi-Service Center.
Network World Fusion
Vivendi: Electronic vote may have
An electronic vote at Vivendi Universal SA's
shareholder meeting last Wednesday may have been hacked, throwing
suspicion on shareholder votes at other companies using electronic
voting technology, the company announced Sunday...A preliminary
inspection of the equipment revealed no signs of tampering, Vivendi
said. However, it said that a small team with a transmitter-receiver
and detailed knowledge of the protocols used by the wireless voting
system could have fraudulently manipulated the vote.
The San Francisco Chronicle
Jones' investigation raised the specter of massive
inaccuracies in the November 2000 vote count -- enough to put in
question the election of some members of the Board of
Supervisors...For instance, in precinct 3213 on Russian Hill, the
city reported counting 328 ballots and 327 signatures were in the
roster. But when state investigators opened the box for that
precinct that city officials pulled from storage, they found only
In one precinct, the major discrepancies found
by Jones seem to have existed on election night as well. In polling
place 2214 in the Western Addition, the city counted 416 ballots,
but there were only 362 signatures in the roster, and the secretary
of state found only 357 paper ballots.
The Bradenton Herald
Union County...has had
trouble-free elections dating back at least to the early 1920s as
the only county in Florida that continued to hand count its ballots.
But that changed this year...The old way, stacking and restacking
the color-coded ballots into winners and counting them, could be
completed by a dozen or two poll workers in time to send the
paperwork to Tallahassee and still be home for the late news on
But counting the county's 2,642 ballots using
the new optical-scan machinery this year took two days, after a
programming error rendered the automatic count useless. So it was
back to the tried-and-true hand count for Union County, which is
about 130 miles east of Tallahassee.
The equipment vendor,
Election Systems and Software Inc., accepted responsibility for the
problems, which were caused when a printing error gave both
Republican and Democratic ballots the same code. The machines read
them both as Republican.
Todd Urosevich, vice-president of
election product sales, said the company will pick up the expenses
for the hand count and apologized to the county.
Who makes the vote-counting machines?
This is an article about just three things: disclosure,
conflict of interest and potential for manipulation. It is
not a conspiracy theory or a political point of view. I think
you'll agree with me: We don't care who wins the election, as long as it's
who was VOTED FOR.
If we lose confidence in our voting system, it
won't matter what we think about any issue. Voting won't matter. Democracy
A lethal combination: Three nasty little guys
that don't belong anywhere near our voting system keep showing up at the
polls. Their names are Nondisclosure, Conflict of Interest,
and Potential for Manipulation.
How credible is the
information in this article? Click the links and you'll find verification,
often on the companies' own web sites. Click footnotes and you'll find
sources and excerpts.
This section covers:
- Why we need to know who owns voting
- Who DOES own them?
[NEW see PHOTOCOPIES
This section covers:
- Why voting machine companies need to disclose conflict of interest
- Which owners have a conflict of interest?
This section covers:
- Can voting systems be manipulated?
- Examples of voting machines
that got it wrong
Why we need to know who owns voting machine companies
The most basic process in democracy voting begins with the
mechanism we use: the ballots, the machines that register the votes, and
the computer code that counts the votes.
"Democracy is more in the counting
of the votes
than the casting of them."
Crispin Hull, Canberra Times, Australia
Just a handful of companies sell ballots, machines and
program counting codes. They lobby, make campaign donations, and sometimes
bribe government officials to choose their vote-counting systems (see sidebar at
left). Understaffed election officials are required to make purchase
decisions, then supervise the use of machines they can't repair, can't
always check for accuracy, made by companies they know almost nothing
Unfettered by any disclosure regulations about ownership or
political affiliations, private individuals own the companies that control
almost all the voting machines in America. Do the people who own them have
conflicts of interest? We don't know. Do they employ anyone with a
criminal record? We don't know.
Because current vote-counting
systems are not sufficiently protected from manipulation, and are getting
less and less auditable, it is now very important to know who has access
to the machines. There is no place for secrecy in our voting-counting
system. Secret voting, yes. Secret vote-COUNTING, no in fact, it's
For some inexplicable reason, the U.S. is
rushing to eliminate the only physical record of the mark made by each
voter, going to straight touch-screens with no paper trail. Canada doesn't
allow this. Neither does Japan. Why are we so casually throwing away the
only real audit trail that protects our vote?
screens, we simply have no paper trail for millions of votes, with
private, secret, and (according to computer security experts), insecure
programming for vote-counting machines that invites tampering. It takes
only ONE true believer with access to manipulate the counting code.
Therefore, disclosure of ownership, flagging conflicts of
interest, has become critical.
The single largest group of people
with access to voting machines are the technicians that work for the
election machine companies. According to computer experts, a single
programmer or technician has the potential to manipulate a system.
Voting machine companies typically send technicians out to custom-program
local machines. If the machines miscount, in most cases only technicians
from the voting machine company can look at the code and diagnose the
problem. Companies that make vote-counting machines should be required to
disclose the names of significant owners, officers and executives along
with any conflicts of interest, because they have such extensive access,
and because manipulation is not difficult to do.
can bid to do the lotteries. But they have to disclose who they are. Is it
not true that VOTING, the basis of our entire democratic system, is as
important as the lottery?
Who does own the voting machine
A work in progress I started with the biggest
company, ES&S, which handles at least 56 percent of the vote counting
in the U.S. For the other companies, I've got sketchy information, most of
which comes from swapping research with reporter Lynn Landes. See her web
site for more: http:www.ecotalk.org.
Election Systems & Software (ES&S)
* = potential conflict of interest, see conflict section
Election Systems & Software operated under the name American
Information Systems from its inception in the early 1980s until around
* = It was founded by Todd and Bob Urosevich, originally
under the name Data Mark.
* = The Urosevich brothers obtained
financing from the Ahmanson family, who took a 68 percent controlling
The investment group related to the Ahmansons sold their
shares in 1987 to the McCarthy Group (35%) and the World-Herald Company,
* = Involved with the McCarthy Group: Michael R.
McCarthy, Chairman [See McCarthy
Conflicts FEC document photocopy: McCarthy is designated
Principle Campaign Committee of a Candidate]
* = Senator
Chuck Hagel: According to the Congressional Quarterly, Republican senator
Chuck Hagel was Chairman of American Information Systems. [See Hagel
Conflicts Document photocopies for Senator Hagel; He lists
the McCarthy Group as an asset, valuing his investment in McCarthy at up
to $5 million, and omits mentioning that he was CEO and Chairman of the
Board for the voting machine company, American Information Systems /
Omaha World-Herald Company:
approximately 80%. Of the 280 employees, only 28 currently own more than
one-half of one percent. World-Herald employee stockholder maximum is 15%,
so under the ownership rules, it is possible for just a few shareholders
to hold significant sway in voting.
* = ? - Two of the 28 main
shareholders (John Gottschalk and A. William Kernen) are on the Board of
Directors for the Omaha World-Herald and ES&S. In 1995, both went
public with an effort to reoganize the company so that they could
concentrate less on the newspaper and more on other World Company
investments. The reorganization was blocked in a lawsuit, which later
* = ? - The Omaha World-Herald also owns: World
Investments Inc., World Marketing Inc., World Events Inc., World
Diversified Inc., World Newspapers Inc., MBS (a New York database
marketing company), ACE Mailing Services (Atlanta, Georgia), Art &
Technology (Omaha), Lee Marketing Services (Dallas, TX), World
Technologies Inc. (Omaha), World Marketing Integrated Solutions, Total
Fulfillment (Tempe AZ), The Rylander Company (Chicago IL), Redstone
Other ES&S owners: In 1997-98 American
Information Systems acquired Business Records Corp., a Texas-based
election company originally called Cronus Industries. Twenty percent of
the stock of the merged company was given to BRC owners. Among the owners
Caroline Hunt, of the Hunt Oil family, through her
investment group (Rosewood Financial Partners)
Alex Sheshunoff, a
financial data publisher
The late P.E. Esping, formerly of Omaha,
founded First Data Merchant Services
Charter Oak Partners, an
affiliate of Rothschild Realty Inc., which is an affiliate of Rothschild,
C.A. Rundell, CEO of Integrated Securities Systems, Inc.,
associated with Dallas-based Renaissance Capital Group Inc.: Renaissance
U.S. Growth & Income Trust P.L.C., known as Rusgit, and Renaissance
Ed Belanger president and CEO of CDS Technologies
Buttonwood Capital Corp Bass brother billionaires, I think.
L.D. Brinkman Corp. Its Vice-President and General Counsel Thad R.
Finley also worked for Hunt International Resources Corporation.
William D. Oates of InterPro
All this, but we still don't
know the names of the owners of ES&S. For all we know, Bugs Bunny is
involved. Or an organized crime boss. Or the Ahmansons are still hanging
around. Or Osama bin Laden. The point is, without disclosure we really
have no idea who we are dealing with.
Diebold Election Systems / Global Election Systems:
In 2002 Diebold accquired Global Election Systems.
* = CEO is
Bob Urosevich, who founded ES&S.
* = Howard Van Pelt and Larry
Ensminger were with Global Election Systems, but are now with another
voting machine company, Advanced Voting Systems, an offshoot of Shoup.
Accenture / Hart Intercivic:
Accenture was spun from Andersen Consulting in the wake of the Enron
accounting scandal, and is now teaming up to go into the elections
Sequoia Voting Systems Inc.
Ownership: Eighty-five percent De La Rue, 15 percent Jefferson Smurfit
Group; Smurfs are in the process of selling to Madison Dearborn Partners
* = Sequoia bought Business Records Corporation's
optical scan vote tabulation business as part of a 1997 Dept. of Justice
anti-trust action with ES&S under a licensing agreement, both
companies used the same equipment and software.
Conflict of interest:
Why voting machine companies need to disclose conflict of
I received a letter from ES&S attorneys that surprised me (the
letter threatens all kinds of bad things if I don't take this page down
a photocopy of the letter is posted on this page.
The ES&S lawyers seem to think that discussing the issues of
nondisclosure, conflict of interest, and potential manipulation of our
voting system constitutes defamation because, by implication, writing
about these subjects implies the specific crimes of voter manipulation and
voter registration fraud.
They are simply wrong: Talking about
conflict of interest is not about alleging fraud. It is about conflict of
interest. Conflict of interest involves motive and access, especially when
security systems are weak. These are issues that are important to the
Conflict of interest for voting machine owners
and officers should include: Active political agendas, running for office,
holding an elected office, accepting a position as a campaign official,
(obviously) criminal activities; vested interests in ballot issues, or
relationships that are too intertwined with other companies, squashing
Suppose Koch Industries (the billionaire private oil
company who got caught by the FBI stealing oil from Native Americans in
Oklahoma...) manufactured and programmed the voting machines your local
election officials bought. Suppose a referendum came up: "Energy companies
can drill for oil in your back yard, touch the YES or NO screen." Do you
really want the oil guys owning the voting machines? Or at least, if they
do, wouldn't it be best to require disclosure, easy-to-audit computer
counting code, and a paper trail?
And if the oil example doesn't
give you the willies, here's another:
Suppose you have (a) a
voting machine manufacturer who is affiliated with organized crime (b) a
high stakes gambling issue on the ballot. Obviously, a conflict of
interest. And of course, you can't detect this problem unless you get
disclosure of owners and officers and their affiliations.
Voting machine owners with possible conflicts of interest:
Election Systems & Software (ES&S):
* 1. Company founded by: Brothers Todd and Bob Urosevich. The brothers
now run competing election companies (Todd is with ES&S, Bob is with
Global Election Systems, now part of Diebold.) Together, these two
companies count about two-thirds of the votes in America. Think of it like
this: Suppose Bill Gates owns Microsoft and his brother Bob Gates owns
Apple. (Hypothetical brother.)
* 2. Vested interests: ES&S was
given its grubstake (while operating under the name American Information
Systems) in 1984 when the billionaire Ahmanson family injected
enough cash to get ahold of a 68 percent ownership. (2) This wealthy
family has been instrumental in making the Republican Party take a hard
right turn pouring money into conservative Christian candidates and
were instrumental in getting at least 24 conservatives into the California
legislature; launching prop. 209, California's successful anti-affirmative
action law; financing Prop. 22, California's effort to ban gay marriages;
financing efforts to remove evolution from school curriculi; and financing
the Chalcedon Institute, which reportedly believes in the death penalty
for homosexuality and other "sins." The Ahmansons are heirs to the Home
Savings of America fortune, which was the largest savings and loan
association in the world during the rollicking 1980s (while the S&L
scandals were taking place.) Howard Ahmanson is a major benefactor of the
Christian reconstructionist movement, whose followers wish to turn certain
tenets of the Bible into national law.
* 3. Skating too close to
criminal prosecutions and kickbacks...02/05/2002, The Baton Rouge
Advocate reports that Arkansas Secretary of State Bill McCuen pleaded
guilty to felony charges that he took bribes, evaded taxes and accepted
kickbacks. Part of the charges related to election systems. Tom
Eschberger, who became a Vice President for ES&S, took an
immunity deal and testified against McCuen.
And in Florida, Jeb
Bush's first choice as running mate in 1998 was Sandra Mortham. According
to the Tallahasee Democrat (10/6/2002) Mortham, was a paid lobbyist
for ES&S and received a commission for every county that bought its
touch-screen machines. Mortham says there was nothing improper about the
deals, but Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber disagreed, alleging
conflict of interest.
And let's look at Alex Sheshunoff, from the
BRC merger: He was sued by the SEC for manipulating the stock price of BRC
using a technique called "marking the close." The web address of the SEC
filing against Sheshunoff is http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/3437419.txt
The Nebraska Problem
* 4. The Nebraska Problem: Look at
the documents, see the loop: ES&S, according to the Nebraska Elections
Division, is the ONLY vote-counting company certified to sell machines in
Nebraska. ES&S counts 80 percent of the votes; the remaining 20
percent are hand counts.
ES&S is owned by the McCarthy Group;
Michael McCarthy runs the McCarthy Group; Michael McCarthy is the Campaign
Treasurer for Republican Senator Chuck Hagel; The FEC designates Michael
McCarthy as a Primary Campaign Committee for Candidate Chuck Hagel; and
Chuck Hagel's financials list the McCarthy Group as an Asset, with his
investment valued at $1-$5 million.
Four documents are shown
below, with links so you can authenticate them yourself:
P. 1-2 Corporate registration papers for ES&S, as
submitted to Arizona Secretary of State in 2001:
McCarthy is designated Primary Campaign
Committee for a Candidate
* 5. The Nebraska Problem: Republican
Senator Hagel was Chairman and CEO of American Information
Systems (now called ES&S); And, Hagel was CEO and a partner in
McCarthy & Company.(6)
According to his financial filings, Hagel's investments with the
McCarthy Group are still between $1 million and $5 million. Hagel's
largest single investment appears to be in the McCarthy Group, who
owns a large chunk of ES&S, the firm responsible for counting
Hagel's own votes.
Hagel investment in McCarthy Group
Hagel came to Omaha from Washington D.C., where he worked with the
first George Bush Administration. In news articles by the Omaha
World-Herald, Hagel said he was coming to Omaha to become president
and partner in the McCarthy Group and Chairman of American
In his congressional bio he is said to
have come to Omaha "to prepare for running for office." The first thing he
did was run American Information Systems, a vote-counting company. Hagel
was the first Republican in 24 years to win a Nebraska senatorial
campaign. He continues to disclose an investment of $15 million in the
McCarthy Group, but he does not identify the underlying assets
(ES&S). His disclosure documents omit any mention of American
Information Systems at all.
* 6. John Gottschalk has been reported
as a director for both the World-Herald Company Inc. (concentrating
on the non-newspaper subsidiaries) and ES&S. He was also
involved with Senator Hagel in the World USO, has relationships with James
Baker; he is listed as a USO pal of George W. Bush.
* 7. The
World-Herald Company, Inc. has a newspaper and, among all their
other operations, a nationwide communications network with databases
containing personal information on almost everyone in the USA, large
direct mailing firms, phone message broadcasting, fax blasting, mass
e-mailing, publicity, advertising, Internet services, printing, as well as
elections services and voter registration services(7). The World
Companies have operations in Texas, Illinois, Georgia, Nebraska,
California, Iowa and Arizona and almost all of the companies listed
above have nothing to do with newspapers. The concern here relates to
access to these operations, which are sometimes used for political
marketing, in combination with ES&S, which does voter
registration services. It would be a conflict of interest for a voter
registration program to have access these database and marketing
capabilities IF political vested interests were involved. Because we don't
have full disclosure we don't know what percentage of stock the major
World-Herald stockholders have, or which ones they are, and because we
don't know if these companies are wholly owned subsidiaries or
partnerships, it is hard to judge conflict of interest on this.
Potential for manipulation
Can voting systems can be manipulated?
Experts say yes,
and it's getting worse! Did you know...
- That even when we use
paper ballots, most states forbid even their election officials
from looking at them? The ballots are removed from the counting machine
and sealed in a box; only the number on the counter is used to tally the
votes. Even recounts often don't involve looking at the ballots themselves
(unless a hand recount is ordered). Yes, it's true. The most progressive
states do a spot check with a hand count of 1 percent of the votes. One
percent is inadequate! But most states don't even require anyone to look
at the paper ballots at all.
- That the public cannot send in its
own computer guy to audit the code? Yes, it's true: in most cases,
election officials have to ask the company that provided the machines to
troubleshoot problems. The voting machine companies went to court to have
their counting code declared "proprietary" so no one can look at it.
Computer experts who have analyzed the code say it is "spaghetti code"
that is almost indecipherable.
- That there are standards for
computer software programming, that make the code easy to audit, and even
spot changes in the programming, and better yet, even provide a history of
all the coding done? These are industry-wide standards that voting
companies should use, but they don't.
- That it only takes ONE
"true believer" to compromise a voting system? It could be anyone who gets
access. There are many ways to do this. Implant a Trojan Horse that, as
soon as a particular vote passes a "tipping point" will start throwing
votes the other way; or, stick the mischief into the message (when the
modem transmits a certain result, the receiving computer sends data back
to change the database). For even more fun, a good programmer can have the
code erase itself as soon as it does its work. Or, you can have the
program perform random "errors" scattered across a system.
a touch screen that registers Democrat when you press Democrat doesn't
have to count your vote as democrat. What you see on the screen involves a
different process that how the machine counts the vote.
things be tampered with? If you have any doubt, read this: article by Ronnie Dugger, who
will show you how easy it is for a single individual with access to fudge
the vote-counting on these machines, in ways that can never be detected.
2 for more information on misprogramming the machines.)
Poll workers count the votes, not election machines, right?
Wrong. The machines count the votes.
Surely there are SOME controls?
ES&S, for example, sends a prototype to Wyle Laboratories for an
integrity check but there is no way to know whether the code used on the
actual voting machines is identical (or even remotely similar) to that on
the prototype. Some states require that the machines pass tests prior to
certification, but there is no system to verify that the machines being
used have identical code. Some states require the master code to be on
file in "escrow," but no one checks to see that the code held in escrow is
identical to that used on the machines. Added to this, technicians go out
and customize programming locally.
And voting machine companies
don't just count the votes they also print the ballots and help with
voter registration. On the 31 Election Errors
page you'll see many examples of misprinted ballots that can affect
election outcomes. Things like jumbling the words, but only on the
Spanish-speaking ballots. Or having chads that absolutely won't dislodge,
but only for the Democratic and Libertarian candidates.
be a bit reckless for Democracy to hand voter registration assignments
over to a firm secretly owned by, say, a right-wing conservative activist
(or any political zealot, for that matter) if the company also has access
to databases containing the race and political preferences of almost
everyone in the USA?
* * * * *
Six Ways to Fix Pesky Votes
1. Scrub the lists too clean: if Andersen commits a felony, Anderson
loses his vote.
2. Hire a firm to check voter eligibility, pay
them 27 cents a name instead of the going rate (2.7 cents a name). When
they contract to verify accuracy for people they remove, write them a
friendly note: "DON'T NEED."
3. "Reform" the flawed voting system
by purchasing millions of dollars in new, automated voting machines. Order
them from a private company in Omaha that refuses to divulge who its
owners are, or reveal their political connections.
4. Don't do any
big stuff (switching 5,000 Dem votes to Republican). Do little things.
Lots of them. Diversify.
5. Choose methods that will be boring or
hard to understand.
6. Make sure people have to use math or
statistics to see what you did. (Raise your hands: Who loves math?)
And if you want specifics of what happened in Florida, where over
50,000 votes disappeared in election 2000, start running google searches
on Greg Palast's articles, aired
on BBC and printed in the Guardian, and belatedly, picked up by
major media outlets in the USA like the Washington Post.
Examples of voting machines that got it wrong: 31 mistakes)
The Dallas Morning News reported this on 10/24/2002:
"Eighteen of more than 400 electronic voting machines were pulled
out of service after early voting began Monday. Some voters complained
that they selected one candidate but that the touch-screen machine marked
a different candidate."
When there are errors in vote-counting,
the explanations sometimes don't make sense.
For example, in
the October 2002 problem in Dallas, where paperless, unauditable
touch-tone screens were used and voters reported that the machines were
registering votes for Democrats as votes for the Republican candidate, the
explanations by county elections commissioner Bruce Sherbet transmits a
ping to the bullshit meter of computer software guys:
said technicians were able to 'recalibrate 15 of the 18 machines taken out
of service and return them to use.' The other three were replaced, he
said. 'Every election, we have machines that have to be recalibrated, Mr.
Sherbet said. 'Touch-screens have pluses and minuses.'"
software engineers I've talked with say there is no such thing as
And then there's this: "'The problem can
occur after the machines are moved and locked up each night,' he [Sherbet]
said. 'Pixels on the machines' screens get misaligned during jostling and
do not properly read voters' selections. However, technicians can realign
them within minutes,' Mr. Sherbet said. He said he's not inclined to scrap
the electronic ballots. "'All large counties are going to electronic
voting,' Mr. Sherbet said."
On more than one occasion, the news
articles reporting the problem quote voting officials saying that the
miscounting was due to a "long ballot with many questions." But did you
know...that the original vote-counting programs were derived from
scholastic testing (You know, answer a thousand questions with five
choices each, using a number two pencil.) Knowing this, you can see that
even if a ballot had 30 things to vote on, with two answers each, that can
hardly compare to the complexity of tabulating a thousand questions with
five answers each. Yet, scholastic testing is highly accurate and quite
Why the Sam Hill are we in such a hurry to eliminate paper
In Florida when votes were lost, election workers had to retrieve the
hard drive as a back-up, because there were no paper ballots. In Dallas,
we just have to take someone's word that a computer screen that registers
Republican when we push Democrat actually counted our vote correctly. In
California, thousands of votes just disappeared due to a computer glitch.
Even the tax guys insist on a paper trail. (Just try telling an IRS
auditor that your computer ate it.)
About the Author
Bev Harris owns
Talion.com, a publicity firm, and has been a
professional writer for 10 years. She is the author of
"How to Unbezzle a
Fortune", a free online report with tips on how to
identify accounting fraud and recover embezzled funds, a report that has
become an underground hit among business owners who have been victimized.
She began researching voting machine companies when she discovered that
unauditable private, proprietary codes are used for vote-counting, and
that ownership of these companies is also not disclosed a situation that
invites conflict of interest and abuse.
Footnotes: Sources and links to more information
1 The largest vote-counting company in the USA:
Election Systems & Software, formerly American Information
Systems. Source: Omaha World-Herald, "Omaha Ballot Company
to Buy Dallas Competitor" by STEVE JORDON 11/22/1996 ..."An Omaha
company would become the nation's No. 1 ballot counter in a planned $59.3
million combination with a Dallas-based competitor...American
Information's share of the U.S. election automation market would
increase to more than 50 percent from the current 15 percent..." and
Source: Omaha World-Herald, "Election Firms' Deal Approved" by
STEVE JORDON 11/20/1997 ... "Under a new agreement, American
Information Systems and the former BRC division will be known as
Election Systems & Software"
2 ...given its grubstake in 1984 when the
multi-millionaire Ahmanson family injected enough cash to get ahold of a
68 percent ownership. Omaha World-Herald "Election Year
Boosts Fortunes of Omaha Firm" by Howard Silber & Denise Tatum,
02/28/1984 ... "[Bob] Urosevich, who had founded his own company, called
Data Mark, ended his business relationship with Westinghouse
in 1979. With the help of Jim Lane, a computer expert who had moved from
Westinghouse to Data Mark, the company designed a machine
that linked a scanner with the type of microchips that are now used in
products ranging from $5 pocket calculators to highly sophisticated
computers. Company Name Changed: Urosevich took the plans to a family
friend with Omaha roots California millionaire William Ahmanson,
chairman and chief executive officer of the H.F. Ahmanson Co.,
holding company for the nation's largest savings and loan association and
a group of Omaha-based insurance companies. 'We needed growth money, and I
felt Bill might be interested,' Urosevich said. 'He was.' William Ahmanson
and his brother, Robert, invested in the company they now own 68 percent
of the stock and serve as directors and the name was changed to
American Information Systems. Lane is vice president and Todd
Urosevich, the president's brother, is secretary-treasurer." [NOTE: The
Omaha World-Herald article mentioned in 1 above, titled "Omaha
Ballot Company to Buy Dallas Competitor" says "American Information
was founded in 1980." This appears to be referring to Data Mark,
which was founded around 1980 and became American Information
Systems. Read differently, the Ahmanson brothers might have invested
in 1980, changing the name in 1980.]
3 ...[Ahmanson family has been] instrumental in
making the Republican Party take a hard right turn pouring money into
conservative Christian candidates and right-wing agendas.
Footnote 3: Source 1 San Francisco Examiner
"Conservative group gears up for 2000 vote in California" by
Zachary Coile 08/04/1999 ..."four donors, all major backers of right-wing
Christian causes who together form one of the state's most powerful and
conservative political action committees, the California Independent
Business PAC...The same group, under a different PAC name, was
instrumental in helping elect two dozen conservatives to the Legislature
in 1994. The group is led by Howard Ahmanson, heir to the Home
Savings & Loan fortune, who now dispenses millions in charitable
and political donations through his Irvine-based Fieldstead &
Co...Ahmanson is also a benefactor of the Christian reconstructionist
movement, whose followers wish to turn certain tenets of the Bible into
national law, according to Jerry Sloan, a former minister who heads
Project Tocsin, a nonprofit group that tracks the religious right...In
1994, 24 of the 34 Republican legislative candidates backed by the group
Footnote 3: Source 2 San Francisco Examiner "5
multimillionaires bend state politics to the right Goal is to take control
of both Assembly, Senate" by Erin McCormick 11/01/1998..."Five rich
but obscure Orange County businessmen, all with conservative philosophies
and fundamentalist religious connections, have joined to become
California's most generous campaign donors in an attempt to turn state
politics hard right. Their political action committee, Allied Business
PAC, has poured $4 million into state Assembly and Senate campaigns
since 1992. ..The results these businessmen have gotten are noteworthy:
They've helped put more than 30 new conservative candidates in the
legislature, gotten one of the group's founders, Rob Hurtt, elected to the
state Senate and shifted the boundaries of the state's political spectrum
markedly to the right..key donor to the PAC has been Howard
Ahmanson, who inherited the Home Savings & Loan fortune..."
Footnote 3: Source 3 Comparative Literature
"Performing virtual whiteness: The psychic fantasy of
globalization" by Linda Kintz 10/01/2001 ... "Howard Ahmanson,
a savings and loan heir long involved with Christian Reconstructionisn, a
faction of the Religious Right at its most extreme. Identified with Rousas
J. Rushdooney's Chalcedon Foundation, Christian Reconstructionism
takes the extreme view that conservative Christians should take "dominion"
over U.S. society and replace democracy with theocracy
family donated $1.5 million to the Discovery Institute's Center for
the Renewal of Science and Culture's research and publicity program to
"unseat not just Darwinism but also Darwinism's cultural legacy"
Footnote 3: Source 4 Reason Magazine
November 1988 "Getting Cozy with Theocrats" by Walter
Olson...Christian Reconstructionism...Among Reconstructionism's
highlights, the article cited support for laws "mandating the death
penalty for homosexuals and drunkards." The Rev. Rushdoony fired off a
letter to the editor complaining that the article had got his followers'
views all wrong: They didn't intend to put drunkards to death. Ah,
yes, accuracy does count. In a world run by Rushdoony followers, sots
would escape capital punishment--which would make them happy exceptions
indeed. Those who would face execution include not only gays but a very
long list of others: blasphemers, heretics, apostate Christians, people
who cursed or struck their parents, females guilty of 'unchastity before
marriage,' 'incorrigible' juvenile delinquents, adulterers, and (probably)
telephone psychics. And that's to say nothing of murderers and those
guilty of raping married women or 'betrothed virgins.'
"...Mainstream outlets like the Los Angeles Times and
The Washington Post are finally starting to take note of the
influence Rushdoony and his followers have exerted for years in American
conservative circles...Prominent California philanthropist Howard F.
Ahmanson Jr., who has given Rushdoony's operations [The Chalcedon
Institute] more than $700,000 over the years..."
Source 5 Los Angeles Times "Enlisting Science to Find the
Fingerprints of a Creator Education: Believers in 'intelligent design' try
to redirect evolution disputes along intellectual lines" by TERESA
WATANABE 03/25/2001 ..."Primarily funded by evangelical
Christians--particularly the wealthy Ahmanson family of Irvine--the
[Discovery] institute's $1-million annual program has produced 25 books, a
stream of conferences and more than 100 fellowships for doctoral and
postdoctoral research. Fieldstead & Co., which is owned by
Howard and Roberta Ahmanson, has pledged $2.8 million through 2003"
Footnote 3: Source 6 Los Angeles Times "CAMPAIGN 2000
PROPOSITION 22 Ban on Gay Marriages Wins in All Regions but Bay Area"
by JENIFER WARREN 03/08/2000..."Over the last several years, 30 states
have passed preemptive laws similar to Proposition 22. Knight says he took
up the cause because he believes that if gays are allowed to say "I do,"
it will weaken the institution of marriage. In placing the proposition on
the ballot, he received financial help from conservative Christian
businessman Howard Ahmanson, a former trustee of an organization
whose founder advocates the death penalty for homosexuality. Initiative
opponents argued that the connection with such a controversial figure
amounted to proof that Proposition 22 backers had a hidden motive--rolling
back legal protections for gays."
Footnote 3: Source 7
Emerge "Affirmative Action Wars" by Trevor W. Coleman
03/31/1998 ..."Yes on Proposition 209 [to eliminate affirmative action],
significantly outpaced in fund-raising its main opponent...Large
contributors made a big difference...Howard F. Ahmanson Jr., heir
to the Home Savings of American fortune, contributed $350,000 through his
Irvine, California based Fieldstead & Co.
Footnote 3: Source 8
Sunday Mail "Zzzouter launches a `moral crusade'"
06/04/2000 ..."a fundamentalist Christian more in the mould of US
multi-millionaire Howard Ahmanson Jr, who uses his fortune to
promote so-called traditional family values...By waving fortunes under
their noses, Ahmanson has the ability to cajole candidates into backing
his right-wing Christian agenda."
Footnote 3: Source 9 Los
Angeles Times "Religious Right Stepping Up to Political Pulpit"
by MATT LAIT; GEBE MARTINEZ 07/10/1996 ... Ten years ago, they were widely
dismissed as a political fringe group. Today, conservative Christians are
a driving force in the local GOP, helping to set the party's platform and
raising millions of dollars to get their candidates elected. Money linked
to religious conservatives from Orange County bankrolled the successful
campaigns of dozens of legislative candidates over the last five years,
giving Republicans long-sought control of the Assembly...The most
influential figures in the local and state GOP are Garden Grove
businessman Rob Hurtt, now the Republican leader in the state Senate, and
banking heir Howard F. Ahmanson Jr. Individually and through
political action committees they created, Hurtt and Ahmanson have used
their fortunes to back candidates and legislation representing their
Christian values. .."
Footnote 3: Source 10 Los Angeles
Times "Rich Source of GOP Funds" by GEBE MARTINEZ; ERIC BAILEY
07/10/1996..."To Republican politicians nationwide, Orange County's image
is of a sprawling money tree, sagging with riches to be spent on the Grand
Old Party. The image is no myth...The new big players are two
ultraconservative Orange County businessmen drawn to politics by their
religious beliefs: Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson Jr., the scion of a
savings and loan fortune, and Sen. Rob Hurtt of Garden Grove, the
Republican leader of the state Senate.
"Hurtt, Ahmanson and a
political action committee they co-founded with two other Southern
California businessmen helped fund the campaigns of nearly two-thirds of
the Republicans in the Assembly, and almost half of those in the Senate.
"The reason why we [Republicans] took over the Assembly was because of
them," said William Buck Johns III, a member of the conservative Lincoln
Club, another top contributor to state and local campaigns... During the
first half of this decade, Ahmanson and Hurtt donated at least $7.1
million to local and state political causes. Their partners in what was
originally called the Allied Business PAC--now known as the
California Independent Business PAC--plowed another $1.4 million
into state and local political campaigns over the same period. .."Their
influence on the Republican Party, I think, has been smashing," said Jerry
Sloan, president of Project Tocsin, a group that monitors the religious
right. 'They have literally taken over the party.'
"Ruth Holton of
California Common Cause said the contributions by Hurtt and Ahmanson
reflect what is wrong with California's political process. Currently,
there are no limits to the amounts an individual or political action
committee can contribute to candidates in California, one of only seven
states that do not impose caps on campaign contributions...Ahmanson
is also the largest single donor to the Chalcedon Foundation, a
small religious sect that advocates reconstructing society in accord with
Footnote 3: Source 11 The Orange County
Register "A political action committee allegedly spurred the move
to put a spoiler in the 67th District recall" by KIM CHRISTENSEN; JEAN
O. PASCO; DAVID PARRISH; JOHN McDONALD 03/28/1996..."A threatened loss of
funds from a powerful political action committee triggered the election
dirty tricks that led to the indictment of Republican Assemblyman Scott
Baugh, a campaign worker told the Orange County grand jury. Richard
Martin, who along with two other GOP aides has pleaded guilty to
misdemeanor charges in the political scandal, said he was told that the
executive director of California Independent Business PAC exerted
pressure to place Democrats on the ballot to dilute the vote and ensure a
Republican win in last November's 67th Assembly District recall election."
4 ...Election Systems & Software, the firm
whose machines were involved in the 2002 flubbed Florida primary
Footnote 4 Source 1 & 2: PR Newswire,
01/30/2002 Election Systems & Software Captures Largest Election
Contract in U.S. History by R. Jeffrey Berg, Director Corporate
Marketing of Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S)..."The
918,000 registered voters of Miami-Dade County are certainly the winners
today," stated Aldo Tesi, ES&S president and CEO. "In selecting
the ES&S iVotronic Touch Screen system, they are acquiring the most
technologically advanced voting solution now available in the world."
and PR Newswire, 12/12/2001 Election Systems & Software Wins
Broward County Florida by R. Jeffrey Berg, Director Corporate
Marketing of ES&S..."We are very excited to have been selected by
Broward County as their vendor of choice," stated Aldo Tesi, ES&S
president and CEO. "The world of elections is undergoing dramatic change,
and ES&S is leading the modernization of election systems not only in
Florida but worldwide."
5 at least one major shareholder is Michael R.
McCarthy...Michael R. McCarthy is the current campaign Treasurer for
Republican senator Chuck Hagel.
Footnote 5 Source 1: McCarthy Group official web
Footnote 5 Source 2: Hagel
and McCarthy Documents
6 ...Prior to his election, Republican Senator Hagel
was CEO of American Information Systems and a partner in the
McCarthy & Company.
Footnote 6 Source 1: Senator Hagel Official
Web Site..."Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Hagel worked in
the private sector as the President of McCarthy & Company, an
investment banking firm based in Omaha, Nebraska."
Source 2: Congressional Quarterly
profile of Chuck Hagel..."President, McCarthy and Co., investment
banking firm, Omaha, NE, 1992-96...Board of Directors: American
Information Systems, Inc."
Footnote 6 Source 3: Roll Call report
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) [net worth] $4 million; A Vietnam veteran who
made millions in the cellular telephone business [Vanguard], Hagel has
multimillion-dollar investment portfolios handled by Merrill Lynch and the
McCarthy Group Asset management. According to his filings, his
investments with the McCarthy group alone exceed $2.7 million; He also
owns more than $100,000 worth of stock in Iron Road Railway and is owed
between $250,000 and $500,000 in funds he lent his campaign committee.
Footnote 6 Source 3: The Omaha World-Herald 06/03/1994
"Welsh Named Top Executive, Board Member" by Steve
Jordan...Chairman of American Information is Chuck Hagel, who
also is a partner in McCarthy & Co., an Omaha investment firm.
The World-Herald Co. owns about 45 percent of American Information
and McCarthy & Co. owns about 35 percent, with senior managers
owning the rest, Hagel said.[OUR NOTE: World-Herald also owns part of
McCarthy]...Hagel said he had been acting as chief executive officer of
American Information since November, when Bob Urosevich, one of the
company's founders, resigned...Hagel said Urosevich's departure "was just
a mutual agreement. The board and Bob felt that the time was right for a
change in leadership." Two other co-founders remain with the company: Todd
Urosevich, Bob's brother, as vice president and director, and Jim Lane as
director and paid consultant.
7 ...voter registration services
7 source 1: Election Systems & Software, Inc. from PR Newswire,
09/19/2002..."ES&S hardware and software solutions support the entire
election process to include voter registration, ballot production,
voting, vote tabulation, and results reporting."
Footnote 7 source
2 & 3: San Antonio Express-News, 08/28/2002 "COUNTY APPROVES
COMPUTER VOTE DEAL" by Tom Bower..."When commissioners chose ES&S
from among five proposals last April, they asked if the system could be in
place in time for early voting in the upcoming Nov. 5 general election and
were told yes...The system also includes 440 printers, for printing out
mail-in paper ballots, as well as computer-based voter registration
and ballot tabulation systems" and Omaha World-Herald
04/30/2002 "Election Systems wins Texas county contract" by Daniel
P. Finney..."Election Systems and Software of Omaha has signed a $7.7
million contract with Bexar County, Texas, to provide election equipment.
Bexar County, which includes the San Antonio metro area, has more than
825,000 registered voters. ES&S will provide 2,100 touch-screen
electronic voting machines that will replace the county's paper ballots.
The company also will provide Bexar with electronic
12 ...Ownership in Election Systems &
Footnote 12 Source 1: Election
Systems & Software official web site "William F. Welsh II,
Chairman...* Managed the merger of American Information Systems
(AIS) and the election division of BRC Holding [Business Records
Corp]. Structured the newly formed ES&S. Three years as President and
CEO of AIS. Six years as President and CEO of Valmont Industries."
Footnote 12 Source 2:Omaha World-Herald 06/03/1994
"Welsh Named Top Executive, Board Member" by Steve
Jordan..."William F. Welsh II, former top executive of Valmont Industries
Inc., became chief executive officer of American Information Systems Inc.,
an Omaha-based election services company, Thursday. Welsh also joined
American Information's board and became a major shareholder in the
company, which had sales of about $10 million last year. ...Welsh declined
to say how much of American Information he owns, saying the company is
George W. Bush
Goofy things news
blocks access to documents