The Denver Business Journal - August 29, 2007

Business News - Local News


State demands info from voting machine vendors


Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman on Wednesday warned the four vendors that supply electronic voting machines in Colorado that their equipment will be barred from use in the 2008 election unless they provide all information necessary to retest the equipment by Nov. 16, 2007.


Diebold, Hart InterCivic, ES&S and Sequoia still haven't provided all the information needed to test and certify the machines, Coffman said in a statement.


"Despite repeated demands since the beginning of this process, to this day we have still not received all of the information from each of the vendors that we need to complete testing," Coffman said. "Throughout this entire process, they have been slow to cooperate in getting us the documentation, hardware or other necessary information that we have requested."


Colorado's secretary of state is required by state law to test and certify all new election equipment purchased by counties after May 28, 2004.


In 2006, former Secretary of State Gigi Dennis was sued by plaintiffs who alleged that the testing process had failed to prove that the electronic voting equipment was secure and accurate.


The plaintiffs asked for an injunction on further use of electronic voting machines until the equipment could be retested. A judge rejected that request, saying that forcing counties to find an alternative voting system just before the 2006 election could create more harm than using the machines. But the court ordered that all previously certified equipment be retested prior to the next primary, general or statewide ballot issue election.


Because of repeated vendor delays, Coffman said, testing that should have been completed by July 1 probably won't be finished until December.


If a vendor fails to turn over requested information by 5 p.m. Nov. 16, that vendor's equipment won't be certified for use in the 2008 primary and general elections, Coffman said.


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