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Reply #38: OH: Hart InterCivic questions Cuyahoga machine choice [View All]

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BillORightsMan Donating Member (921 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-29-08 12:59 PM
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38. OH: Hart InterCivic questions Cuyahoga machine choice

Head of voting machine firm Hart InterCivic questions Cuyahoga County choice
Cuyahoga picked costlier system
Saturday, June 28, 2008 by Joe Guillen

The CEO of a Texas-based voting-machine company says he still wants to know why the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections bypassed his equipment in favor of a system that will cost taxpayers an extra $5 million.

Hart InterCivic President and Chief Executive Gregg Burt on Friday criticized the board's selection process, a week after the board voted to spend $13.4 million for scanners from another company. County commissioners still must approve the deal.

"I have yet to hear a logical reason why we weren't selected," Burt said. "The taxpayers deserve an answer for this."

Burt said he has written letters expressing his dismay to the county commissioners and has hired a lawyer to examine the selection process.

During public sessions, none of the four board members doubted Hart's equipment could do the job in November.

According to board projections, the county would save $5.3 million over five years by picking Hart. ES&S would lease equipment for the fall and sell more-modern ballot scanners to the county in 2009.

Burt said he is amazed Cuyahoga picked a significantly more expensive voting system.

If the commissioners complete the deal with ES&S, the county will receive digital scanners next year, once they are certified for use in Ohio.

But if ES&S' newer equipment isn't certified by then, the county would buy the company's less-modern equipment and get a $1.4 million refund.

Burt said the uncertainty surrounding the ES&S equipment should have worked in his company's favor.

"It seems the Board of Elections is open to betting taxpayer dollars on the hope that a new uncertified product will soon become certified," he said.

There's a pot-kettle story in here somewhere...

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