Election Systems & Software
(ES&S) is an American
company that provides voting
services. It was founded in 1979
as American Information Systems Inc. (AIS), it merged with Business Records Corp. the following year and changed its name to ES&S.
ES&S is a subsidiary of McCarthy Group Inc., which is jointly held by the holding firm and the Omaha World-Herald Co., the publisher of Nebraska's largest newspaper. As of 2007 it was the largest manufacturer of voting machines in the United States, claiming customers in 1,700 localities. As of 2007 it had approximately 350 employees; 2005 revenues were $117 million.
Election issues and problems
was CEO of the company until shortly before his election in November 1996 to the United States Senate
from Nebraska. The election was conducted almost exclusively on equipment provided by his former company.
ES&S was one of the top four providers of voting companies used in the November 2004 election; the other three were Diebold Election Systems (now Premier Election Solutions
), Sequoia Voting Systems
and Hart InterCivic
The U.S. primary elections of March 2006 revealed an overextension of ES&S's resources when multiple counties across the nation found poor quality control (faulty memory cards), reported poor service, and problems with election preparation. Following harsh criticism of Diebold, ES&S has become the second major electronic voting vendor (after Diebold) to see lawsuits and criminal charges rising out of their failure to provide adequate service under their contracts.
After the November 2006 elections, Indiana launched an inquiry into poor service by the company, settling when it agreed to pay $750,000. West Virginia filed a formal complaint against the company with federal officials. Arkansas put together a panel to investigate. The company denied any major trouble with its machines, attributing problems to errors made by poll workers.
On August 3, 2007, California Secretary of state Debra Bowen
withdrew approval of the ES&S InkaVote Plus optical scan voting system
after a "top-to-bottom review" of the voting machines certified for use in California in March 2007.