April 2, 2005
An April 4 listening session on Accenture
By Rep. Mark Pocan
Like many of you, I was taken aback when I heard the news late last year that our State Elections Board was proposing to enter into a contract with Accenture to compile Wisconsin’s statewide voter file. Since then, I have been active in trying to stop the state from spending millions more than necessary with a company that has a sketchy history at best (never forget Florida!).
Under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) that was spurred by the 2000 Florida election debacle, Wisconsin is required to establish a centralized statewide voter registration system. The State Elections Board proposed a $13.9 million software contract with Accenture, LLP, a $2.7 million project management contract with Deloitte Consulting, LLP, and budgeted $10.2 million for State Elections Board staff oversight, hardware and data entry for a total of $26.8 million to comply with the federal law. Concerns have been raised over the cost, the legality of the contract, the product, and the company’s history in government products.
I am currently a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the State Elections Board as we try to block implementation of this contract, along with Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, Bob Beglinger of AFT-Wisconsin, John Matthews of Madison Teachers, Inc. and others. Ed Garvey is representing us in this fight for fair elections in Wisconsin (in addition to being FightingBob.com’s editor and publisher, he also happens to be an attorney).
If we are going to stop Wisconsin from spending millions of dollars on a crapshoot on our democracy, we need to act now before it is too late. Until now, there has been no real attempt to hear from the public on this issue. On April 5, the first phase of software from Accenture is due – let’s work now to stop this bad idea. Please join us on Monday, April 4, at 2:00 pm in Room 225 NW of the state Capitol. Make your voice heard and learn more about the contract, the required list and real democracy in Wisconsin.
See you there!
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