Talk:Election Systems & Software
How did AIS buy a larger company?
It seems that AIS was a small startup mainly focused on selling to Nebraska, while BRC was an elections industry giant that nearly dominated US elections. So why did AIS end up buying a comparatively larger company and merging it into ES&S? To answer this, we should research:
- How large was AIS by 1997? Which jurisdictions did it sell to?
- Was BRC in any financial trouble that would have justified selling themselves to a smaller vendor?
- Might there have been any secret deals cooked up to allow AIS to buy them?
Need for more Urosevich research
Very little is known about either of the Urosevich brothers. Seeing as they're the founders of this company, this is important to address. One source even alleges they have ties to Karl Rove, but this is unsubstantiated. Bob and Todd have their own pages to fill with research.
William and Robert Ahmanson's involvement with AIS is a bit murky. The following questions come to mind:
- Did they invest in 1979 or 1984? Bev Harris's 2003 research says 1984, while an Omaha World-Herald 2016 retrospective says 1979.
- Were the Ahmansons friends with the Urosevich family (as the OWH article claims)? If so, that would imply the Urosevich family was quite well-connected.
- Did the Ahmansons have other motivations for investing in AIS besides helping out a family friend (if the above is true)?
- Why did they decide to sell their shares in 1987 to the World-Herald and the McCarthy Group (a fledgling company founded only a year earlier)?
According to Bev Harris's article about voting machine ownership, there was a 1984 article that implied the Ahmansons invested in AIS back in 1979. So it appears 1979 is the correct year, not 1984.
2004 Ohio technicians
According to Richard Hayes Phillips's affidavit, ES&S technicians showed up in multiple Ohio counties during the 2004 election and made unauthorized modifications to tabulators. Some of the specific technicians named were Joe McGinnis and Sam Hogsett. Hogsett also had a suspicious role in the Ohio recount, being sent by Ken Blackwell to deal with the machine count not matching the hand count. It would be a good idea to try contacting the ES&S technicians and county election employees at the time to get an answer to what exactly the technicians were doing.
Computer Election Systems Inc. (CESI), which became part of BRC in 1985, might have been involved with rigging the 1980 presidential election. According to a New Yorker article ("Counting Votes" by Ronnie Dugger, 1988/11/07), CESI was targeted by an antitrust investigation under Carter, and they joked that "we had to get Ronald Reagan elected to get this thing killed"; the investigation was dropped in 1981 right after Reagan was sworn in. Bev Harris got anecdotal testimony from a California election official (see Ch.5 of Black Box Voting) that during 1980 the optical scanners (possibly made by CESI, as it was a California company) flipped Carter's victory to Reagan, and that while her county caught it with a hand count audit, the state refused to order audits in other counties:
An election official I spoke with from California reported that in her county, Jimmy Carter soundly defeated Ronald Reagan during the 1980 presidential election. However, the computer tally from the optical scanner reversed the results, giving Carter’s votes to Reagan and vice versa. By doing a hand audit using the paper ballots, they were able to straighten out the results, but when she requested that the state of California do more audits to see how widespread the problem was, she was ignored.
Ownership of Premier
After ES&S acquired Premier in 2009, the DOJ recognized it as an antitrust violation and forced them to divest in 2010 to an approved buyer. Dominion stepped forward, and ES&S agreed to sell Premier to them. The sale was said to include all of Premier's products and the rights to support them, though ES&S held on to many Premier support contracts. Yet Premier's products show up on ES&S's website but not Dominion's. Dominion doesn't publicly act like they own Premier at all. So what exactly is the explanation for this? Why does ES&S continue to advertise products that they supposedly no longer own?