Blumenthal investigating voting machine company
EDWARD J. CROWDER firstname.lastname@example.org
BRIDGEPORT — State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Tuesday that his office is exploring whether a Simsbury company broke the law when it offered a failed bid to provide Connecticut's next-generation voting machines.
What is it they did to cause State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal to begin investigations?
Danaher Controls was the state's first choice to upgrade 3,300 aging mechanical voting machines.
But Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz last week announced the state had dropped the company after learning its machines were not certified for use in national elections.
The development caused the state to miss a Jan. 1 deadline to line up new voting machines to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act in time for this November's elections.
"We're actively exploring possible action to recoup damages to state taxpayers," Blumenthal said. "We need to investigate further what was told the secretary of the state's office — when, exactly, statements were made by the company and how grave the impact will be, both short- and long-term."
During a meeting with the Connecticut Post's editorial board Tuesday, Bysiewicz said the company had made misleading statements on written communications submitted to her office, as it sought the state contract.
OOPS! Just some misleading statements... It seems they forgot to mention not only that they hadn't received federal certification:
"Contrary to their written representations, they had no federal certification and hadn't even applied for federal certification," Bysiewicz said on Tuesday.
But they hadn't even applied for it yet!
Bysiewicz said a new search will begin soon. However, the state already has missed the federal deadline to replace its mechanical-lever voting machines.
Bysiewicz said she received a letter from the U.S. Department of Justice — the agency charged with enforcing the act — pledging to cooperate with Connecticut as it tries again to find a qualified vendor.
A department spokesman, however, stopped short on Tuesday of promising the state would avoid repercussions
They might fund the elections, they might not. Sounds like real promising words from the DoJ.
And when you consider that Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz has no real reason for some of the demands she puts on manufacturers:
For months Connecticut activists have been questioning Secretary of State Bysiewicz about why she continuously claimed that any voting system used in the state would have to accommodate a full-face ballot. Coming on the heels of the revelation that the sole choice contractor for a voting system for Connecticut, Danaher Controls, would not be able to fulfill their promise of a 2002 federally qualified voting system, the Attorney General has now revealed that there is no law that requires a full-face ballot. In the mean time, the Attorney General is also investigating what actions can be taken against Danaher Controls for misrepresenting their equipment.
Nevermind that it also appears that many of these companies seem to be operating in bad faith, a recurring theme across the states, and gaming the system of federal funding that can be cut off if you don't have "the right electronic machines" in place for the '06 elections.
In some states it appears that even when they chosen a system, that manufacturer may chose not to deal with them at all, leaving them with no realistic options whatsoever.
In Leon County Florida they had decided to dump their Diebold scanners and had made an agreement with ES&S to provide new scanners that provided an easily voter verifiable laser printout of your votes AND met handicap requirements BUT:
Faced with a deadline this month to comply with handicapped-access provisions of federal law in time for the September primaries, Sancho got the County Commission to dump the old ballot scanners late last year and let him bring in a new company to include a laser-printing system. But the new company, Election Systems & Software, has backed out of the plan - leaving Sancho suspicious of its motives and consulting lawyers.
Sancho said ES&S has been seeking Leon County's business since 2004. He said Diebold Election Systems, which provided the current system, had violated its agreement with the county by refusing to upgrade software unless he signed a new contract and agreed never to link Diebold equipment to any other machinery.
Seems like some companies are gaming the system big time! You can thank the corrupt republican Ney for all of this corrupt legislation (HAVA) that allows these electronic voting machine manufacturers to treat our money as their jackpot.
Rep. Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican implicated in a lobbying corruption investigation, said today he will step aside temporarily as chairman of the House Administration Committee.
Ney is at the center of the Justice Department's ongoing corruption probe and has been identified as the congressman referenced by Abramoff in his guilty plea earlier this month.
Ney's decision comes as three House Republicans are waging a spirited campaign to replace Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas as majority leader. DeLay was forced by party rules to step aside after he was indicted by a state grand jury in Texas for alleged violation of campaign finance laws.
Yep... What more could you expect from corrupt republicans?