Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S)

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Election Systems & Software (ES&S), a company that makes nearly half the voting machines used in the United States, including all those used in Nebraska.


Founded in 1996 as American Information Systems Inc. (AIS), it merged with Business Records Corp. the following year and changed its name to ES&S.

ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group Inc., which is jointly held by the holding firm and the Omaha World-Herald Co., the publisher of Nebraska's largest newspaper.

In January 2003, The Hill reported that "In a disclosure form filed in 1996, covering the previous year, Chuck Hagel, then a Senate candidate, did not report that he was still chairman of AIS for the first 10 weeks of the year, as he was required to do."

"Hagel's unrecorded stake in the voting systems company poses an apparent conflict of interest on election reform issues. Three companies, including ES&S, stand to make a large profits from election reform legislation enacted last year by Congress," Alexander Bolton reported.[1]

The Hill noted that an official at Nebraska's Election Administration estimated that ES&S machines calculated approximately 85 percent of the votes cast in the two elections - 1996 and 2002 - that Hagel contested.

ES&S iVotronic Audit Log Bugs

In May 2004 the Miami Daily Business Review reported that an official, Orlando Suarez had found a "serious bug" in Miami-Dade's ES&S election equipment nearly a year earlier. ES&S had known about this serious bug for nearly a year and had not fixed it.

In his memo Suarez wrote "In my humble opinion (and based on my over 30 years of experience in the information technology field)".

"I believe that there is/are a serious 'bug' in the program(s)that generate these reports making these reports unusable for the purpose that we were considering (audit an election, recount an election and if necessary, use these reports to certify an election)."[2]

$750,000 Settlement for Delays Cause By Software Flaws

AP reported in August 2006 that ES&S agreed to a $750,000 settlement to a legal action by the Indiana government after flaws it its software resulted in "delays for some Indiana voters and election officials during the state's May primary." [3] The ES&S spokesman was Ken Fields from Fleishman-Hillard. O'Dwyer's PR Daily reported, the day following the AP story, that Fleishman was representing ES&S. [4]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


External articles

  • Paul Krugman, Hack the Vote, New York Times Op-Ed, December 2, 2003.

External resources

Other Websites

  • "In response to the 2000 Florida debacle, Congress passed a law, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which mandates voting process reform in all the states."
  • "Mr. Darryl R. Wold, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) believes that HAVA requires a voter-verifiable paper trail."

Contact details
Election Systems & Software, Inc.
11208 John Galt Blvd
Omaha, Nebraska 68137 USA
Toll Free: 1-800-247-8683
Phone: 402-593-0101
Fax: 402-593-8107
Web: http://www.essvote.com/