Voting Equipment and the Way Elections Are Run

By Rob Richie
Published November 7th 2009 in New York Times
[Note: This is how these two letters appeared on the New York Times website, with Mr. Richie's letter placed in contrast to Mr. Tesi's.]

To the Editor:

�Trust, Antitrust and Your Vote� (editorial, Oct. 29) does a disservice by linking antitrust concerns with the integrity of the vote in the United States.

Voting, like public education, is a local process combined with federal and state oversight and financing. More than 10,000 jurisdictions are involved in the administration of elections, with hundreds of thousands of Americans working to ensure that every vote counts.

Citizens should be confident that local officials administer fair and honest elections. As our customers, we know they are. We encourage citizens to assist their local election officials by volunteering their time in support of the election process.

We are confident that the acquisition of the United States voting machine division of Diebold will be beneficial in keeping talented people working on innovative products that help local officials run reliable elections. Elections are our passion, and we are proud of the work of our customers and employees in facilitating democracy in the United States.

Aldo Tesi
President and Chief Executive
Election Systems and Software
Omaha, Nov. 5, 2009

To the Editor:

Your Oct. 29 editorial about the dangers of consolidation in the voting equipment industry is spot on.

To ensure that the public interest is protected in our elections, however, there must be clear public ownership of the process � either directly through publicly owned voting equipment and software or at least through transparently managed, verifiable counting processes with a �public option� for any jurisdiction wary of working with existing private vendors.

Rob Richie
Executive Director, FairVote
Takoma Park, Md., Nov. 2, 2009