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Consultant: Election Software Riddled With Computing 101 Errors
Sequoia Voting Systems Says Denver Used Old Software
ABC7 TheDenverChannel.com November 30, 2006

DENVER The company that made those now infamous e-poll books that caused such headaches and massively long lines on Election Day is telling the panel looking into those problems that they were made just the way Denver wanted.

But the two consultants looking into the problem told the mayor's panel to blame the poll books first, which couldn't even handle 100 users at a time.

"It does not meet or even approach professional standards for web development," said Fred Hessler with Fujitsu Consulting. "This is programming 101 kinds of errors."

In just two weeks, the consultants also determined that Denver's Election Commission didn't test or plan enough. On Wednesday, an independent audit concluded those poll books were the biggest source of the headaches.

"There are deeper issues that we believe the city and county should examine," Fujitsu said.

The representative for Sequoia Voting Systems said Denver used old software. He said it was first developed in 1996 and was set to be eliminated two years ago but the Denver Election Commission wanted Sequoia to it to help register voters as they switched to vote centers.

But a Sequoia spokesman said software developers thought they were creating a different type of program.

"On Denver's side, it was being referred to as an e-poll book. There is a disconnect there. And it may be telling in hindsight," said Howard Cramer, with Sequoia Voting Systems.

"I don't care what you call it. It doesn't really do very well what it was supposed to do," Fujitsu said.

The Sequoia rep also said he didn't realize his company was even doing this work for Denver and said it probably should've been tested further.

"Quite honestly, it was Election Night when I finally discovered, after making a few phone calls, that in fact, we had done that software development that was being referred to as an e-poll book. But no, I had absolutely no involvement in its development."

Prior to Nov. 7, Larimer County offered its proven, election software to Denver for free. The consultants tested it, saying that Larimer County's software could run an election for Chicago, much less Denver. But they found no good reason why Denver said no thanks.


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