ES&S Agrees to $3.5 Million Settlement
SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 22, 2008)- The City and County of San Francisco and Election Systems & Software (ES&S) have resolved litigation related to costs San Francisco incurred in meeting the Secretary of State’s new certification requirements imposed on the ES&S voting system used in San Francisco for the November 2007 election and a dispute regarding the state certification of modifications to the AutoMARK ballot marking devices used by voters with disabilities. San Francisco had purchased the AutoMARK machines from ES&S for $3.79 million in 2006.
The settlement agreement, which City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera reached with ES&S, provides that ES&S will pay $3.5 million in exchange for the return of the AutoMARK ballot marking devices and dismissal of San Francisco’s legal claims. San Francisco also agrees to pay ES&S’s outstanding invoices for voting supplies and services. The agreement also states that it is not an admission of liability by ES&S. The settlement agreement must be approved by the San Francisco City and County Board of Supervisors.
“People’s faith in a representative democracy depends heavily on the quality of the elections process,” said Herrera. “I appreciate ES&S’s willingness to participate in finding a resolution to this matter, and I am gratified that we were able to quickly come to an agreement that will allow us to enter the next election cycle with equipment that meets state standards.”
“This resolution is a creative approach that benefits both parties,” said John S. Groh, Senior Vice President, ES&S. “San Francisco no longer had a need for its 563 AutoMARK ballot marking devices and ES&S did. We will continue to do all that we can to support the election-related needs of jurisdictions in California and other states. Resolution of this matter should also help to ease San Francisco’s transition to a new voting system.”
The case was City and County of San Francisco et al v. Election System and Software, Inc., San Francisco Superior Court, filed Nov. 20, 2007.