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Secretary of State

Election Division > IED Staff > News > 2006 Press Releases > For Immediate Release: April 28, 2006 Rokita Serves Notice of Violations to Voting Machine Vendor

Contact: AJ Freeney-Ruiz
317-233-8655
Media@sos.in.gov

Indianapolis, IN - Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita today announced an enforcement hearing concerning the products and services of voting equipment vendor Electronic Systems & Software (ES&S). The hearing is set to occur in the office of the Secretary of State on May 8 at 9:00am. The Notice, prepared by the General Counsel for the Secretary of State's Office, cites thirty possible violations occurring in Marion, Johnson, and St. Joseph Counties.

Last week, as the state's Chief Election officer, Rokita personally conducted a public investigative hearing on the Nebraska-based voting system firm to determine whether complaints reported in the popular press would be substantiated under oath by local elected officials and others. During the hearing, Rokita heard testimony from county clerks concerning sequencing errors, as well as paper ballot proofreading, printing, delivery and reading problems. Several other issues were described that could be violations of Indiana law. The allegations contained in the Notice are a result of some of the testimony given and other evidence obtained during the investigation.

"Hoosiers deserve voting systems that comply with the high standards mandated by Indiana law," said Rokita. "The May 8th hearing is a mechanism for voters, election administrators, and vendors to know that Indiana will hold accountable, where appropriate, those who wrongly put at risk the integrity of our voting process. " In addition to the State proving its allegations, ES&S will have the opportunity to make its case, including whether civil penalties are warranted.

Under a new law, the Secretary of State's office can issue civil penalties of up to $300,000 for each finding of a voting machine vendor that knowingly, negligently or recklessly sold, leased or allowed to be used equipment in violation of Indiana law. Rokita is simultaneously conducting a similar investigation and hearing process regarding allegations made against Indiana-based MicroVote General Corporation, which services 47 Indiana counties.

Under Indiana law, every Indiana county contracts with a vendor of its choosing for voting system products and related services. Such systems must first be certified for use in the state by the Indiana Election Commission, a body independent of the Secretary of State's office. For a copy of the Notice of Violation sent to ES&S, please contact AJ Feeney-Ruiz at aj@sos.in.gov or call 317-233-8655.