Denver Election Commission – Still Cuddling Up to Sequoia

Well, here we go again. Seems the Denver Election Commission’s vendor, Sequoia Voting Systems, has once again compromised the integrity of an election cycle in Denver.

The story goes that Sequoia–the Denver Election Commission’s vendor–failed to deliver more than 18,000 mail-in ballots for distribution to voters until just this past weekend. Says Sequoia: “[We] made an unfortunate mistake with a portion of Denver’s absentee ballots that we produced and mailed,” Michelle Shafer, a company spokeswoman, said in an e-mail (as reported in the Rocky Mountain News). Shafer has said that a ‘technical problem with the data file we used to prepare this batch of ballots’ caused the mistake.”

Oh my… A “…technical problem with the data file…” I mean, well, if you think about it, this whole industry of electronic voting apparatuses depends, ahem, on DATA FILES, not only in assuring the proper number of ballots are printed but in the COUNTING OF ACTUAL VOTES AFTER THE BALLOTS ARE RECEIVED. And, pray tell, what kind of electronic equipment is the Denver Election Commission utilizing to “assure” that silly democratic principle of VOTING is not compromised? Yeah, you guessed it, Sequoia.

I’ve written so much about the Denver Election Commission and Sequoia, the history of the first purchase of Sequoia equipment and the failures of that company and the DEC, that I’ll simply provide one link here that, I believe, is embedded with numerous links to all those past missives. It may or may not be instructive to note that at the time of the original purchase of the Sequoia equipment, current citycouncilperson Marcia Johnson was President of the Election Commission and presided over the “in-house” RFP that brought Sequoia on board.

I guess I’ll just end this with some questions. Even if the DEC drops Sequoia as their preferred vendor, what then? What do we do with all the millions of dollars we’ve already invested in Sequoia equipment, support, supposed expertise? Can we get that back? (Fat chance!) And, if we drop Sequoia, how many tax dollars will the DEC be seeking to bring another vendor on board?

Brace yourselves for a new pricetag for a new voting system that, most likely, will work as “efficiently” as Sequoia has over the years.

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2 Responses to Denver Election Commission – Still Cuddling Up to Sequoia

  1. Drunkbunny says:

    It’s horrible! I voted Tuesday and the whole time kept wondering what the chances were that my vote would actually be counted.

  2. georgeindenver says:

    Yeah, DB, the track record of the Denver Election Commission doesn’t really instill confidence, does it. I had the same feeling when I stuffed my mail-in ballot in the old red box at the Sheitler Recreation Center in Berkeley Park. The rub, of course, is if the DEC decides to boot Sequoia, what proven, “reliable” vendor will take its place? Are there any proven, “reliable” vendors of voting apparatuses out there? Oh well… Interestingly, I’ve come across newspaper articles that report pretty much the same issues with “new” voting machines first utilized in a primary election in September, 1982. The DEC stil hasn’t got it right.

    Thanks for your comment.

    George

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