This graphic is from Brad's Blog – The 2010's article’s title says it all: Exclusive: On Heels of Diebold/Premier Purchase, Canadian E-Voting Firm Dominion Also Acquires Sequoia, Lies About Chavez-Ties in Announcement: "Intellectual Property" of voting systems still owned by firm linked to Venezuelan President, despite press statements to the contrary.
It might not surprise Chicago and Suburban Cook County voters to learn the Dominion/Sequoia WinEds system, comprised of the electronic voting machine called the Edge2Plus (AVC Edge) and the 400c central counting machine, failed to pass the error testing rate as mandated by HAVA (Help America Vote Act). More complaints about these voting machines pile in after every election. The error testing rate permits one error per 500,000 ballot positions. Defend the Vote uncovered that not only did the voting system not pass the error testing as required by Federal Law, but Dominion removed the machines from further testing and has discontinued manufacturing the WinEds system altogether.
This does not mean Dominion/Sequoia has stopped making a profit from the error-prone machines. Not at all! Nation-wide,Dominion/Sequoia has exclusive multi-million dollar contracts to provide support for various versions of the WinEds system. Essentially, Dominion pulled the machines from the testing process because they knew their voting system could not pass the error testing requirements, but they still make substantial corporate profits from servicing the defective equipment. Those are our tax dollars being sunk into the upkeep of a discontinued and insecure voting system. Even worse, these vulnerable machines are used to count over half of the vote in Illinois and somewhere around 30 million votes across the USA.
Our research in late 2013 discovered that the State of Illinois has permitted the use of these machines despite being informed on multiple occasions that they are not lawfully certified as required by Illinois Law and the Illinois State Board of Elections’ rules. The Board prefers not to tackle the sticky issue of having to replace the defective machines, and the Board members have asked me more than once “who do you think should pay for new machines?”
Thanks to the ill-advised decisions made by the Illinois State Board of Elections, our taxes paid for the uncertified equipment and we will likely be footing the bill when they get around to replacing it. Of course, negotiating is a part of doing business, so let’s ask Dominion to provide a flexible and economic bid to replace their machines. Dominion’s Executive VP, Howard Cramer, has said to me that Dominion would offer favorable terms to get updated machines in Chicago. Either way, if Dominion’s numbers don’t add up, there are always other vendors.
Yet, this begs the question: can we trust Dominion Voting to replace their faulty machines? Their record is nothing to be proud of. Dominion – I believe in bad faith – stopped the process to have their WinEds system legally certified, yet did not dissolve their multi-million dollar contracts to service those notoriously defective machines. Incredibly, Dominion asserted that the WinEds system’s 400c recorded faulty votes during testing because a piece of ink flicked off and magically landed exactly on the ballot circle to add votes where there were none. This amazing coincidence apparently happened multiple times…
The EAC (Election Assistance Commission) and the independent testing lab selected by Dominion questioned and ultimately did not accept Dominion’s explanation. The EAC was preparing to issue a ruling that would have required Dominion to have further testing. On February 27th, 2013, Dominion decided to withdraw the machines from further testing to avoid addressing the issues raised. Dominion claimed it would cost them too much time and money to continue. Yes, the security of your vote – according to Dominion – is apparently not worth the effort or the funds to get their defective machines lawfully certified, but it is worth millions and millions of taxpayer funds to keep those defective machines in use.
I remind readers that in September 2013, Dominion’s Executive VP, Howard Cramer told me that Defend the Vote could test ANY of their new machines, but none of the ones in use in Chicago and Suburban Cook County. Although he later withdrew the offer, it’s a telling look into how Dominion views their WinEds voting system.
Defend the Vote is working toward a future where the defective WinEds voting system is retired not only in Cook County and Chicago, but also in the other states where variations of that system are in use. The integrity of our vote is at the core of our democratic process, and Defend the Vote believes Illinois – and the rest of the country – have the right to reliable voting equipment to record and tally their votes.