As Iowans head to the polls next week, many of them will be casting ballots using technology developed just across the Missouri River. In fact, 55-percent of all voting nationwide will be handled, verified or counted by equipment and programming that came from an Omaha company. Election Systems & Software spokesman Don Ferguson explains county election supervisors “run” the election, E-S-and-S provides the computers, technology and ballots depending on its contract. Ferguson admits some local governments that have bought the Omaha company’s high-tech equipment had trouble, but downplays the importance of the problems and the company’s part in them. Most of the incidents have been training problems with the poll-workers, he says, and errors that aren’t the fault of the equipment. Ferguson says it’s probably the oldest election-accounting firm in the country, probably the reason more than half the country’s election jurisdictions are using its services. The E-S-and-S website says it’s been in business for over 36 years.
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