Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Mysterious resignation at ES&S, maker of vote flipping machines in W Va

Several voters voters in early voting in West Virginia complained that their votes for Barack Obama flipped unwillingly to John McCain. The maker of the vote flipping (or vote switching) machines is ES&S. Mysteriously, the company's vice president, Gary Lee Greenhalgh, resigned abruptly in May, and neither he, nor the company, will say why he quit.

The Charleston Gazette inquired into the story:
Ron J. Nyden, "ES&S official left company in May"
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - On Thursday, Secretary of State Betty Ireland defended her selection of touch-screen voting machines by Election Systems & Software, after several voters complained the machines were switching their votes from Democrats to Republicans.

That same day, during a ceremony at the Capitol, Ireland presented a special award to Gary Lee Greenhalgh, the ES&S vice president who sold Ireland on the machines.

Ireland called Greenhalgh "a pioneer in the use of technology in the election process."

But Greenhalgh left the company mysteriously in May, and neither he nor company officials will say why.

And while Ireland praises both Greenhalgh and his former employer, other states have rejected ES&S voting machines because of alleged security and accuracy problems.

An independent study determined that ES&S touch-screen machines could be "compromised and modified without detection, conceivably occurring before, during or after an election," presenting "serious risks to election integrity."

In recent days, at least 14 voters from Jackson, Putnam, Berkeley, Ohio, Monongalia and Greenbrier counties have told The Charleston Gazette that ES&S machines switched their votes from Democratic to Republican candidates.

No one has contacted The Gazette to say a voting machine flipped Republican votes to Democratic candidates.

In each case, county poll workers helped the voters correct their ballots. But several worried that others might not notice switched votes.

Read the full October 26 Gazette article here.

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