State Enforces Action against Errant Voting System Vendor

Contact: Jim Gavin

Secretary of State Todd Rokita moves to collect fines and fees totaling more than $360,000.00

INDIANAPOLIS -This week, Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s office filed a Petition to collect civil penalty fees from voting systems vendor, MicroVote General Corp. totaling more than $360,000. The Secretary's Office filed the Petition just as the appeals process is near completion on a July 2007 administrative ruling. The ruling ordered MicroVote to pay the State more than $360,000 in civil penalties and investigative costs stemming from 198 violations of Indiana election law.

"The Secretary of State's Office will not tolerate voting system vendors that violate Indiana's election laws," stated Deputy Secretary of State Matt Tusing. "Moreover, MicroVote's apathetic attitude towards proper certification is disconcerting, especially considering that their profits come from taxpayer dollars.”

“On behalf of voters and taxpayers, our office will continue to fully enforce our laws, protect the integrity of our votes, and work hand-in-hand with county clerks to execute the most fair and accurate election process in the nation,” stated Tusing.

MicroVote came under initial investigation in April 2006 following allegations that the company sold uncertified voting equipment in as many as 47 Indiana counties. Indiana law requires voting systems to be certified by the Indiana Election Commission before being sold, leased, or marketed for use in an election.

In 2007, a Civil Penalty Action conclusively established that MicroVote violated that requirement by marketing uncertified equipment during a window of time between the company’s decertification on October 1, 2005 and recertification on April 28, 2006.  It also found that MicroVote sold, installed, and permitted the use of uncertified voting systems.

All civil penalties collected from this and similar actions pay for the costs of the actions and directly fund Indiana’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP), which provides counties expert technical consultation on the use and selection of election equipment. As counties work with new voting systems, they will inevitably face new, technically complex challenges. VSTOP is a resource designed to assist in navigating those challenges.

On March 31, 2008, an Administrative Law Judge of the Indiana Election Commission entered a  “revoked certification” ruling of MicroVote’s Infinity Voting System and prohibited its sales of any voting systems in Indiana for 5 years.  The order relates to MicroVote’s marketing, sales, and use of uncertified voting systems in 2005 and 2006.  Fortunately, MicroVote’s illegal conduct did not affect any election outcomes.

The revocation order will not affect the upcoming Primary or General Elections. Under Indiana Election Law, a voting system vendor subject to decertification may continue to provide support to counties that already acquired the voting system.