Monday, December 20, 2004

A mainstream media voice and an ES&S whistleblower

Many of you are wondering: Where are the investigative reporters looking into the possibility of vote fraud? Why is the mainstream media ignoring the precarious state of democracy?

I've discovered one television news outlet that has devoted an astonishing amount of time to this issue, both before and after the election. They've concentrated on the local angle, of course; local, in this instance, means Indianopolis. WISH-TV has taken a rare and radical step: They have committed journalism. Just take a look at this page, overflowing with juicy stories about problems with voting equipment.

They've also uncovered a whistleblower named Wendy Orange, who quit ES&S when the company (she says) asked her to cover up "problems" with the software.

In her letter of resignation, Orange said she found the corporate philosophy at ES&S to embody unethical and disreputable practices. She said she had "personally witnessed open discussions of potentially illegal procedures."
That quote comes from a story broadcast on May 11. Just today, WISH-TV delivered a follow-up report:

Marion County Clerk Doris Anne Sadler revealed Tuesday that the company installed illegal software before last November's election.

The I-Team first met Wendy Orange last January, when we conducted a test on Marion County's new optical-scan voting machines. Orange is the ES&S project manager for Marion County. She's the one who blew the whistle on ES&S for installing illegal software, the same software used to tabulate November's election results.

"The company with which the Marion County election board has contracted to provide its voting machines and software has willfully and purposely deceived me and the Marion County election board by installing uncertified election software and then ordering their employee to withhold that information from me," said Sadler at a Tuesday press conference.

But Wendy Orange didn't withhold that information. Her husband, Doug Orange, used to work for ES&S as Johnson County's project manager. He was fired after refusing a superior's order to zero the counters on voting machines at the courthouse instead of the polls. “I felt those procedures were illegal,” said Orange.

"The software in question is called data acquisition manager and is used to compile the votes," said Sadler.

The illegal software could still be seen in the computer when the I-Team tested the system in January. Wendy Orange showed us how she takes the individual results from each card and accumulate them into one place to give overall totals for each race.
I'm still not sure I understand the technical details of this story, and I hope to hear more from Ms. Orange.


Anonymous said...

I think your chronology is mixed up. The first report is 4/22/04. The second report is 5/11/04.

Joseph Cannon said...

Apologies: I glanced at the wrong date.