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NEW: VoteWatch has a new online service to immediately report voting problems
Instant Online Reporting for voting problems

BREAKING NEWS: ES&S demands retraction, threatens to sue Photocopy of ES&S letter

[NEW The Nebraska Problem]

NEWS REPORT: ES&S machines accused of flubbing 2002 Dallas votes
Push Democrat, vote Republican; election halted

NEWS REPORT: 31 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


[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 manufacturer…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 support."

… 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 …

Dedier's recommendations 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 said.

The Baton Rouge Advocate

A judge Monday shot down a prosecutor's second attempt to delay the trial of longtime lobbyist Lehman Williamson...

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 Jerry Fowler

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...


Mortham and the association's former president say there was nothing improper about the deals, but Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber disagreed...

Karen 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.

After the 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 ago.

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.

Without 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.

Voting 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

Accenture/Hart Intercivic 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

In 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 registration records.

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 errors

Honolulu Star Bulletin
[Full Story]

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 investigating.

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
[Full Story]


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
[Full Story]

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 precincts.

"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.

"How did 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)

Election 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.

In 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

City 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 Wolosik.

"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 plan. [more]

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 Lawrenceville precinct.

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.

The 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 13,556 votes.

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.

He said the discovery was bittersweet. ``I don't really know how to react to it,'' he said Tuesday.

The Dallas Morning News

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 programs.

THE RECORD, Northern New Jersey

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 FBI.

The Tampa Tribune

Bob 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.

Birmingham Post

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.

Yet if 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.

Houston Chronicle

"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.

...the 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 been hacked

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 170 ballots.

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 Election Day.

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 won't matter.

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 machine companies
- Who DOES own them?

Conflict of interest:
[NEW see PHOTOCOPIES — The Nebraska Problem]

This section covers:

- Why voting machine companies need to disclose conflict of interest
- Which owners have a conflict of interest?

Potential for manipulation:
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 about.

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 unconstitutional.

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?

With touch-tone 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.

Private companies 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 companies?

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 1998.

* = 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 interest.

The investment group related to the Ahmansons sold their shares in 1987 to the McCarthy Group (35%) and the World-Herald Company, Inc. (45%)

* = 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 / ES&S.]

Omaha World-Herald Company:
Employees own 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 settled.

* = ? - 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 Communications (Omaha).

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 of BRC/Cronus:

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, Inc.

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 Three.

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 business.

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 of Chicago.

* = 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 interest:

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 public interest.

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 competition.

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 right-wing agendas.(3)

They 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:

Full Size

Page 1
[Click to Authenticate]
(Scroll to "Scanned Annual Reports," click "2001")

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Page 2
[Click to Authenticate]
(Scroll to "Scanned Annual Reports," click "2001")

McCarthy is designated Primary Campaign Committee for a Candidate

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[Click to Authenticate]

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[Click to Authenticate]

* 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

Full size
[Click to Authenticate]

(Enter Hagel in search box, view section IIIB on financials)

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 Information Systems.

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 $1—5 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.

- That 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.

Can these 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. (See sidebar 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.

Might it 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:

"[Sherbet] 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.'"

The software engineers I've talked with say there is no such thing as "calibrating" software.

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 consistent

Why the Sam Hill are we in such a hurry to eliminate paper trails?

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 won."

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… The Ahmanson 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..."

Footnote 3: 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 biblical tenets."

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 election...

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 site.

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."

Footnote 6 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

Footnote 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 voter-registration..."

12 ...Ownership in Election Systems & Software

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 privately held."

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