Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Voting machine proposals kept from public view

By Mark Naymik, Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1/25/04

The Cleveland Plain Dealer requested copies of an Ohio county's voting technology proposals, but the county did not fulfill the newspaper's request, saying they could get in trouble for disclosing vendors' trade secrets. Here's an excerpt:

Michael Vu, the county's elections chief, said the board is trying to negotiate for computers and items needed to run the voting systems, additional staff training and items needed to store the machines in the county's warehouse.

The board has not turned over any documents that explain these items in detail, nor has the board or its attorney offered any explanation of how the disclosure of such items might betray a trade secret.

"If it wasn't for the objections of the vendors, we would be willing to give them to you," Vu said. "Three out of the four vendors have objected to releasing the information, and the board would be liable if we released it."

He said Hart Intercivic may be willing to release its proposal.

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