Election Reform Initiative: Questions and Answers
Who has been selected to provide Georgia’s statewide electronic voting
A: Diebold Election Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Diebold, Incorporated and a leading manufacturer and installer of electronic voting systems.
What is the total value of the contract?
Approximately $53,950,000. It
the largest contract of its kind in the history of the United States.
What equipment and services are included in the contract?
Under the terms of the contract Diebold will provide:
What safeguards exist for proper performance of the new system?
There will be extensive testing of each voting unit upon its arrival in
Georgia. Staff from the Center for
Elections at Kennesaw State University will perform quality control audits and
acceptance testing of the voting units in each Georgia county.
Throughout the deployment process the vendor is required to meet
established milestones in order to receive payment.
Will counties be provided sufficient voting units under this contract?
Yes. Equipment will be
apportioned equally to counties based upon their number of active registered
voters. The voter registration list
changes from month to month, but based on today’s active registration of
3,727,821, the ratio of DRE units to voters is 1 to 196 – an amount that falls
well within manufacturer’s recommendations and is similar to the ratio
typically used by other jurisdictions that have acquired DRE equipment.
What costs will counties incur as part of this deployment?
Counties will receive free of charge the equipment, training,
software license and onsite testing and support described above.
Additional training at Kennesaw’s Center for Elections and a 24-hour
help desk will also be provided to counties free of charge.
Should counties choose to fund acquisition of additional voting units,
they may do so for an established statewide contract price.
How many manufacturers submitted bids and who were they?
Nine equipment manufacturers submitted bids.
They were: Millenium Year 2000 Solutions, Inc., Unilect Corporation,
Compaq Computer Corporation, TruVote International, Inc., Diebold Election
Systems, Inc., Election Systems & Software, Accenture, Shoup Voting
Solutions and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems.
On what basis was the award to Diebold made?
Were they the low bidder?
The state’s Request For Proposal specified that proposals would be
evaluated based upon the “best value” for the state rather than on price
alone. Diebold was neither the
highest or lowest bidder.
How were the bids evaluated? Who
was involved in making the decision?
Secretary of State Cox appointed an evaluation committee to review the
proposals and recommend the vendor that offered the “best value” solution.
The committee spent several weeks evaluating proposals and conducting
tests of equipment capabilities. The 12-member committee was comprised of seven
employees from the Secretary of State’s office and one each from the Office of
Planning and Budget, the Department of Juvenile Justice and the Georgia
Technology Authority. In addition,
two retired county election superintendents, from Bibb and Fulton Counties,
served on the committee. The
committee’s recommendation that Diebold be selected was unanimous.
The recommendation was reviewed by Georgia’s Chief Information Officer
Larry Singer and endorsed by Secretary of State Cox.
Are these electronic voting units accessible to the visually impaired?
All of the DRE voting units may be configured with an “ADA kit” to
accommodate the visually impaired, and to allow them to make ballot choices
independently and without assistance via an audio interface.
One DRE unit in each Georgia precinct will be configured in this way.
These units may also be used by non-impaired voters as well.
special features does the Diebold AccuVote –TS offer?
Using an intelligent voter card as the voter interface, the AccuVote-TS
permits voters to view and cast their votes by touching target areas on an
electronically generated ballot. The
units have the ability to put all ballot styles within a voting jurisdiction on
each ballot station, (over 35,000 ballots have been stored on a single ballot
station in a live election). The
terminal’s “magnify” feature enlarges the text for improved visibility by
How about security features? Can
votes be lost?
Votes are securely stored utilizing world-class encryption techniques on
several flash memory devices, providing multiple system redundancy features.
The units also carry internal battery back up in case of a loss of power
to the precinct.
With the new statewide system, how will absentee ballots be cast?
Voters registered in all counties will receive, vote and return an
optical scan ballot. 400 optical scan ballot tabulators will be deployed to every