Tech Companies Show Voting Solutions to Congress

Tech Companies Show Voting Solutions to Congress

Three leading government systems integrators in Washington today demonstrated their election system solutions for members of Congress who are sponsoring legislation to modernize voting systems and procedures.

Those presenting advanced voting solutions were Accenture Inc. of Chicago, Electronic Data Systems Corp. of Plano, Texas, and Unisys Corp. of Blue Bell, Pa.

Unisys announced Jan. 11 that it has formed an alliance with Dell Computer Corp. of Round Rock, Texas, and Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash., to provide a comprehensive voting solution. Neither Accenture nor EDS has announced formal partnerships with other companies.

The demonstrations followed a press conference at which members of Congress introduced the Voting Reform Act of 2001.

The act would establish an Election Administration Commission to study federal, state and local voting procedures and election administration, and also would provide grants to modernize voting procedures and election administration.

Sens. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Robert Torricelli, D-N.Y., and Reps. Tom Davis, R-Va., and Steven Rothman, D-N.J introduced the bill.

Accenture demonstrated a system almost identical to the one that it provided to South Africa for its 1999 elections, said Meg McLaughlin, a principal with Accenture's e-Democracy Group.

The end-to-end solution contains everything from voter registration to results tabulation, she said.

Meanwhile, Accenture is holding discussions about possible election solution partnerships with various vendors, said McLaughlin. Accenture advocates open systems and is not interested in tying itself to a single partner, she said.

"We're looking farther out than just voting systems," said McLaughlin. An end-to-end solution "is something that we can do with the applications and solutions that we can bring to bear," she said.

Accenture has assigned about a dozen of its principals to its e-Democracy Group, which is spread across the globe, said McLaughlin.

About a decade ago, Accenture developed a statewide election management system for Oklahoma and an imaging system for the storage of voter registration information for New York City.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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