Thursday, October 29, 2009
Lack of competition should require Cost or Price Analysis of Hawaii voting machine purchase
by Larry Geller
Below is the Office of Elections Waiver of Cost or Price Analysis once again for your reading pleasure. If it doesn’t display properly below, please use the link to read it.
I haven’t received any reaction to this from those I’ve asked, so heck, I’ll just offer my own reaction.
The key is here, a statement elaborated further in the document:
I believe the RFP will generate adequate competition that would be evidenced by several Offerors submitting proposals.
In fact, there is little competition in the voting machine biz. Thanks to Denny and Lynda Lou McPhee for this New York Times editorial, Trust, Antitrust and Your Vote (10/28/2009). The editorial alerts readers to an alarming lack of competition among voting machine suppliers:
The nation’s largest voting machine manufacturer, Election Systems & Software, announced last month that it was buying the United States voting machine division of Diebold, its main competitor. The sale could mean that nearly 70 percent of the nation’s voting precincts would be served by a single corporation.
Hart InterCivic, whose voting machines are in use in about 9 percent of the nation’s precincts, has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Delaware challenging the sale, arguing that the deal could harm the company’s ability to retain customers and attract new ones.
In view of the concentration of dominant suppliers—two if the purchase of Diebold goes through, or three if it doesn’t—the Office of Elections should be arguing just the opposite—that a cost or price analysis is essential to protect the public in this instance.
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