Friday, May 15, 2009

Ramifications of E-Voting: Spiralling Needs & Costs

Lest there be any doubt that op-scans will generate ever-increasing obligations, needs and costs for our election boards, check out this advertisement sent to our county election commissioners from NTS Data Services (emphasis supplied):

Subject: Machine Inventory and Management from NTS

Hi Everyone,

Many interesting bits of information came out of the State Conference sessions last month, particularly in the area related to our new voting machines. What has become more and more recognizable throughout this entire process, (and spelled out by the State Board in the Tuesday afternoon session) is the need to accurately and precisely track vital information about each and every component of your voting equipment and related inventory throughout their lifetime.

Understanding this requirement, NTS is developing our asset tracking and machine management system we call "CUSTODIAN". CUSTODIAN will address a number of the requirements you will have to meet in order to be compliant with State regulations including:

· Tracking of Machine Testing Dates
· Maintenance and Error Logs
· Security Seal Numbers
· Chain of Custody Reports

.......and the list goes on

The information CUSTODIAN will provide will be substantial and believe me it's going to have to be. This type of data is not something that can be hand written down on a piece of paper or easily managed via a spreadsheet or simple database. As you heard from the State Board, this is critical information that you are going to have to maintain and should have access to at a moments' notice.

Our current plans call for a release of a simple and straightforward inventory and asset tracking module prior to the September primary - in time for use in the pilot projects this year. The full management version will be released in the first quarter of 2010, allowing you plenty of time to become familiar with it before implementation of the certified machines in the 2010 elections.

CUSTODIAN will be a work in progress, changing and developing to meet the needs of our New York State counties as they will continue evolve. As we go down this new road together, it is obvious there will be many changes and additional requirements driven by your needs and those of the State. We have never let you down before and are not about to this time around.

In the next few days you will receive by mail additional information on CUSTODIAN. This mailing will summarize some of the many features that will be included in the system - take a look at it, I think you will find it interesting and helpful.

We look forward to both your comments and interest.

Take care

Not the kind of growth industry we can look forward to.