Talk:Help America Vote Act

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Abramoff involvement

Did Jack Abramoff play a role in the original passage of HAVA? He did lobby Bob Ney, main sponsor of HAVA, to put an Indian gambling rights provision into the bill. And Greenberg Traurig, Abramoff's lobbying firm, was paid by Diebold Election Systems in 2004 to lobby on election issues. Abramoff's connections to both Ney/HAVA and Diebold have led many to surmise that Abramoff was involved in pushing the overall bill. However, this has not been confirmed. Diebold apparently doesn't even show up as a lobbyist for HAVA, though the information may be incomplete or inaccurate.

Election Systems Task Force

In a private vendor meeting set up by R. Doug Lewis, Lewis mentioned the Election Systems Task Force as a major force behind HAVA. They consisted of about 12 companies, with the main members being Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Accenture, and EDS. Lewis said that they were interested in getting HAVA enacted to create business opportunities for themselves. These four leading members of the Task Force are defense contractors and procurement agencies, so their interest in pushing electronic voting to create "business opportunities" seems ominous. Most of them didn't even have major roles in elections: Accenture partnered with election.com for a Pentagon Internet voting project which was abandoned, Northrop Grumman owned an election company called Diversified Dynamics which didn't seem to be used anywhere, and Lockheed Martin and EDS have no discernible role in elections at all.

No other information about the Election Systems Task Force exists online. The only reason it's public knowledge at all is because David Allen, the publisher of Bev Harris's book, sat in on Lewis's meeting and took notes. One member of the Task Force, Accenture, shows up as a HAVA lobbyist, but none of the others do. It's worth doing further investigation into the Task Force, asking questions such as:

  • Is there any other verification that this Task Force existed?
  • Which members of Congress was Accenture lobbying?
  • Who are the other members besides those four main ones?
  • What kind of "business opportunities" did they expect from HAVA? Was it selling products (most of them had little or no financial stake in election products) or rigging elections?