States being gouged by ES&S

From: Charlie Strauss <cems_at_earthlink_dot_net>
Date: Sun May 25 2008 - 11:43:52 CDT

States are being gouged by ES&S maintenance fees. This might be an
entre for OVC.

Here's the scene in NM and I imagine most states will be hitting
similar walls about now.

Through the visionary work of Governor richardson and members of the
legislature, NM passed legislation a few years ago to go 100% paper
ballots despite the opposition of the previous SOS. While that has
worked quite well, even in cases when tight races required recounts,
the vendor ES&S has earned the universal hatred of the State by
jacking up sole source maintenance fees.

 From ABQ Journal

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Help Counties Cover Paper Ballot Overhead

       Looks like New Mexico will be able to vote after all. The
state Board of Finance OK'd an emergency loan to help cover the costs
of maintenance on the paper ballot voting system that was hustled
into place for the 2006 elections.
        Whoa — emergency loan? Well, it turns out the much higher
costs of maintaining the new system caught counties by surprise. Some
had used county personnel to troubleshoot the old voting machines. No
more. The new system has the advantage of leaving a paper trail of
ballots in case of recount and the disadvantage of a paper trail of
receipts leading to a sole-source of supply and service.
        Somehow, that aspect of the proposal to require all counties
to switch to the new system immediately was not thoroughly aired in
the legislative debate. That would be no problem if the governor who
proposed and the Legislature that adopted the mandate assumed the
responsibility to fund it.
        Instead, Gov. Bill Richardson vetoes a bill that would
appropriate state money to cover costs counties didn't anticipate and
says, “The counties should help (pay for maintenance). They're
getting a free ride.” That's like Dad herding the kids into the car
to go to a restaurant they hate, then docking the little free-riders'
allowance for gas money.
       ; If legislators and the governor in their wisdom lock in a
no-bid, uncompetitive deal like this, fine — pay for it, or let
counties opt out.

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Received on Sat May 31 16:17:04 2008

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