Scytl, the Spanish-based electronic elections firm, has partnered with a leading online security and access provider to state and federal government clients.
The partnership could help safeguard the election programs of Scytl’s U.S. division.
In January 2012, Scytl acquired 100 percent of SOE Software, the leading software provider of election management solutions in the United States. The sale garnered national attention after it was spotlighted by the popular Drudge Report.
Reads an SOE press release: “SOE is now partnering with VASTEC, a leading accessibility access provider to state and federal government clients. VASTEC currently provides Section 508 compliance services at the highest government levels, including the Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.”
“VASTEC offers accessibility services and remediation tailored to the client’s needs,” said Shelby Tudor, VASTEC’s program manager for accessibility services.
Continued Tudor: “This includes review and consultation of websites, remediation of current content or development of new material, and regular review to ensure accessibility is maintained as the website grows. We are proud to partner with SOE to provide these services to the Elections Community.”
VASTEC boasts an extensive list of U.S. government contracts.
Besides the SSA, Pentagon and Veterans Affairs department, VASTEC has been contracted by Department of Commerce, National Technical Information Service, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, General Services Administration, Treasury Department, Veterans Benefits Administration, Health & Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Government Printing Office, IRS Alternative Media Center and more.
VASTEC’s Tudor, quoted in the press release, previously worked for Enable America and was an Obama for America digital media intern in 2012, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Scytl’s new partnership comes one month after President Obama’s special commission on election reform recommended future electronic voting, even suggesting tablet computers, such as iPads, be used to cast votes, as WND exclusively reported.
Obama’s 10-person Presidential Commission on Election Administration released its recommendations last month in a 99-page document available online.
Much of the media coverage of the commission’s conclusions focused on a summary of key recommendations provided by the White House.
The recommendations are:
- Modernization of the registration process through continued expansion of online voter registration and expanded state collaboration in improving the accuracy of voter lists;
- Measures to improve access to the polls through expansion of the period for voting before the traditional Election Day, and through the selection of suitable, well-equipped polling place facilities, such as schools;
- State-of-the-art techniques to assure efficient management of polling places;
- Reforms of the standard-setting and certification process for new voting technology to address soon-to-be antiquated voting machines and to encourage innovation and the adoption of widely available off-the-shelf technologies.
However, a WND review of the commission’s full paper finds far more extensive recommendations for electronic voting.
The document states: “Software-only products can be integrated with off-the-shelf commercial hardware components such as computers, laptops, tablets, scanners, printers, and even machine-readable code scanners and signature pad products.
“Tablet computers such as iPads are common components of these new technologies. They can be integrated into the check-in, voting, and verification processes in the polling place.”
The commission called attention to new technologies that allow voters to “pre-fill” sample ballots at home that can be later scanned at the polling place.
The panel addressed concerns that such technologies can be hacked.
The commission stated: “The fact that a tablet or off-the-shelf computer can be hacked or can break down does not mean such technology is inherently less secure than existing ballot marking methods if proper precautions are taken.”
The concept of electronic voting is already being tested.
WND reported in 2012 that Scytl announced the successful implementation of technology that allows ballots to be cast using Google and Apple smartphones and tablet computers.
Obama’s panel was chaired by Robert F. Bauer, the president’s personal attorney who served as White House counsel until 2011.
With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.