Election Center

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The Election Center is a private firm largely responsible for overseeing the elections industry. According to its website, the Center is "a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, preserving, and improving democracy. Its members are government employees whose profession is to serve in voter registration and elections administration." Part of the Election Center's role is to advocate for the industry and serve as a coordinator between the FEC, state and local officials, and private companies within the industry. It also has the role of training election officials and helping to approve voting machine test labs. Known also as the National Association of Election Officials, the Election Center works closely with a partner organization, the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED).

Despite billing itself as an advocate for election officials, the Election Center is mainly involved with organizing the privatization of the elections industry. The Center fulfills a PR role for the vendors and testing authorities (ITAs), helping to lobby for their interests, while also controlling the quality assurance of those companies' products and services. It even, through the training process, provides a mechanism for influencing election officials in favor of the vendors. Such an arrangement is described by some as "voluntary regulation" of the industry. Arguably, the Election Center plays the key role in holding privatized elections together. This makes its shadowy background and conflicts of interest troubling. Its funding and sponsorship is proven to come from voting system vendors like ES&S, Diebold (probably), and Sequoia. The origin of the Election Center, as well as the background of its most visible director R. Doug Lewis, is currently unknown.



Training election officials


Approving test labs

Lobbying governments



Election vendor collusion


  1. Bev Harris, "Inside A U.S. Election Vote Counting Program", 2003/07/08 - identifies the Election Center as responsible for training election officials
  2. The Nation, "Diebold Wines and Dines Officials", 2004/08/26 - mentions Bob Ney at a national conference being "applauded when he dismissed demands for auditable paper trails for electronic voting"; describes how voting machine vendors funded events attended by election officials; includes "the executive secretary-director of North Carolina’s board of elections, the secretary of state of Colorado, and the Pennington County (South Dakota) auditor" on the Election Center board of directors

External links