ES&S is America’s most obviously concerning voting machine vendor

Jennifer Cohn
19 min readDec 22, 2020

In September 2020, a Texas examiner’s report said there was a “ bug” in ES&S’s hash verification script. What happened after is unknown.

By Jennifer Cohn

First, a cautionary note. Close partisan associations and corruption involving voting machine vendors are inappropriate, and significant discrepancies between polling and official outcomes are unnerving and fair game for reporting, as are voting-system vulnerabilities and the many electronic “glitches” that occur in elections. But they do not prove fraud. Moreover, we cannot typically prove that election outcomes are wrong without conducting robust manual audits using hand marked paper ballots (with an exception for voters with disabilities). This is why the Democrats proposed the SAFE Act, which would have required robust manual audits for all federal races this year and banned most of the touchscreen voting machines currently in use. It also would have banned internet connectivity to voting systems. But the GOP killed the SAFE Act.

Republicans nonetheless have the audacity to complain after the election about lack of security and transparency, knowing full well that they are primarily responsible for these problems, that they did better (not worse) than polls predicted, and that they went out of their way to block manual recounts in the presidential elections of 2000 and 2016.

Meanwhile, Republicans have directed their belated election-security ire almost exclusively at Dominion Voting. They have conspicuously given short shrift to America’s largest and arguably most corrupt voting machine vendor, Election Systems & Software, LLC (ES&S), whose systems in Texas had a software “bug” as of September 2020 that could in theory have enabled ES&S or others to install unauthorized software. (For unknown reasons, the Texas Secretary of State waited until December to post the September report.) The GOP’s cherry picking is dangerous because it could give ES&S even more corrupt control over U.S. elections than it currently has.

Jennifer Cohn

Attorney and Election Integrity Advocate #ProtectOurVotes #PaperBallotsNow @jennycohn1