STATEWIDE VOTING SYSTEM PROJECT STATUS
 

Election Assistance Commission

voting system RFP Project Status
 

Background:
In 1986, South Carolina began the process of migrating to a single statewide voting system. The State provided matching funds to counties when available. The program was eventually abandoned due to lack of matching funds. The 1999 Election Summit and the 2001 Governor’s Task Force investigated the election processes in South Carolina. Both of these bodies recommended South Carolina pursue a statewide uniform voting system. The enactment of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) in 2002 and the aforementioned committees’ and task forces’ recommendations have led to the decision to develop and disseminate a request for proposal (RFP) for a statewide uniform electronic voting system.

Status as of September 1, 2006:
The first use of the statewide voting system was during the June 13, 2006 statewide primaries. The system was utilized again, statewide, in a subsequent run-off election on June 27, 2006. Preparations are currently under way for preparation of the use of this system for the November 7, 2006 General Election.

Status as of April 1, 2006:
The new voting system has been successfully deployed and implemented in all 46 counties. The system has and is being used in the conduct of various municipal elections. Voting system support processes and procedures are being refined based on lessons learned. Detailed planning with the voting system vendor to prepare for the first statewide use of the system in June '06 Primary and any subsequent Runoff has been completed. Vendor project manager, individual county account managers, and regional managers are in place and fully engaged.

Status as of December 1, 2005:
The new voting system has been successfully deployed and implemented in all 46 counties. The system has and is being used in the conduct of various municipal elections. Voting system support processes and procedures are being refined based on lessons learned. Detailed planning with the voting system vendor to prepare for the first statewide use of the system in June ’06 Primary election will be completed in December.

Status as of September 03, 2005
The primary focus throughout 2005 remains the execution of the voting system training plan and supporting implementation of the new voting system for various small municipal elections scheduled in many of the counties throughout the year. Kick off meetings and training classes throughout the State on the operation and support of the new system continue to be scheduled and delivered according to the priorities of the 2005 schedule of expected elections. Supplemental regional training classes covering voting system operations and security were conducted in June throughout the State. Additional supplemental training classes for counties will be presented in September in Columbia. Various processes are being reviewed and refined into 'best practices' as counties throughout the State gain experience with the new voting system. New tools, such as envelopes to manage voting system seals and pouches to securely transport compact flash cards on election day, have collaboratively been developed. Planning and preparations have begun for the next statewide Primary Election, scheduled for June, 2006.

Status as of April 22, 2005:
Voting system equipment has been delivered to all 31 counties in Phase II completing the deployment of the new voting system throughout all 46 SC counties. The 2005 schedule of expected elections has been compiled and will govern the Phase II implementation and training schedule for the new voting system. Training classes throughout the State on the operation and support of the new system are being scheduled and delivered and will continue through the end of the year. Inaugural Voting System Users Group workshops were successfully conducted the first week of April with 40 of the 46 counties represented during which extensive information sharing and discussion of voting system operation best practices took place.

The primary focus throughout 2005 will remain the execution of the voting system training plan and supporting implementation of the new voting system for various small municipal elections scheduled in many of the counties throughout the year. Planning and preparations will begin in late summer for the next statewide election, the 2006 Primary Election.

Status as of February 28, 2005:
Voting system equipment delivery to 30 of the 31 Phase II counties has been completed. The 2005 schedule of expected elections has been finalized which will govern the Phase II implementation and training schedule for the new voting system. The primary focus for the coming period remains the execution of the voting system training plan and supporting implementation of the new voting system for various small municipal elections.

Status as of January 31, 2005:
Voting system equipment delivery to 26 of the 31 counties has been completed with the remainder scheduled for February. The 2005 Election Schedule has largely been finalized which will govern the Phase II implementation schedule for the new voting system. The primary focus for the coming period is to execute the voting system training plan and support implementation of the new voting system for various small municipal elections.

Status as of December 31, 2004:
15 counties conducted the November General Election using the new Statewide Voting System. A Phase I post-implementation workshop was held on 17-Nov-2004 to gather lessons learned and propose best practices to be incorporated into Phase II of the Statewide Voting System project. Phase I of the Statewide Voting System Project was an unqualified success and is complete.

Site visits to the 31 counties that are in Phase II of the Statewide Voting System project have been completed. Voting system equipment delivery to 11 of the 31 counties has been completed with the remainder scheduled for January. The 2005 Election Schedule has not yet been finalized which will govern the Phase II implementation schedule for the new voting system. The primary focus for the coming period is to finalize and execute the voting system training plan.

Status as of August 16, 2004:
15 election management systems and over 5,000 voting devices and accompanying support equipment have been deployed to the 15 counties participating in Phase I of the Uniform Statewide Voting System Implementation. Phase I county election commissions have received and completed acceptance testing of the new system. Initial training of county election commission staff has been completed and all Phase I counties have begun using the new system to produce and begin mailing absentee ballots.

Status as of August 16, 2004:
A contract for a statewide uniform voting system was awarded on August 4, 2004 to Election Systems and Software. Counties in the Phase 1 implementation began receiving demonstration units during the week of August 9, 2004. Two kick- off meetings were held in Columbia with county and State election officials. County machine deliveries are expected to begin on August 16, 2004 and training programs will begin shortly thereafter.

Status as of July 13, 2004:
The State Procurement Review Panel held an administrative hearing on June 23rd and 24th to hear appeals from Diebold Election Systems, Palmetto Unilect, LLC., and Election Systems & Software regarding the State Chief Procurement Officer's (CPO) determination that resolicitation of the request for proposal is required. The Panel upheld the CPO's determination.

Proposals were received on July 9, 2004 from Diebold Election Systems, Palmetto Unilect, LLC., And Election Systems & Software in response to the re-solicitation RFP (04-S6579) to Supply Services and Products for a Uniform Statewide Voting System. An evaluation panel, selected by the CPO and based HAVA State Plan Advisory Team suggestions, will evaluate the proposals. An intent to award a contract to the successful offeror is expected on Friday, July 16, 2004 and, barring any further issues with the procurement process, will enter into a contract on August 2, 2004.

The South Carolina State Election Commission SCSEC will continue to prepare for the eventual contract award and an implementation of the new uniform statewide voting system in time for the November General Election in those SC counties that currently use punch card voting systems.

Status as of June 18, 2004:
The State Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) determined in his decision regarding the various
protests filed against the intent to award a contract to Supply Services and Products for a
Uniform Statewide Voting System to ES&S that ES&S’s proposal contained material deficiencies and therefore declared the highest ranking offeror non-responsive. The CPO determined resolicitation of the contract is required.

Three protestants have submitted appeals against the CPO’s decision to the State Procurement Review Panel: Diebold Election Systems; Palmetto Unilect, LLC.; And Election Systems & Software. Appeals are scheduled to be heard between June 22nd and 24th. The SCSEC issued a new RFP (04-S6579) to Supply Services and Products for a Uniform Statewide Voting System on Wednesday, June 9, 2004. Proposals are due from prospective offerors by July 9, 2004.

South Carolina State Election Commission SCSEC continues to prepare for the eventual contract award and an implementation of the new uniform statewide voting system in time for the November General Election in those SC counties that currently use punch card voting systems.

Status as of May 14, 2004:
Bids (proposals) to Supply Services and Products for a Uniform Statewide Voting System for the South Carolina State Election Commission were received on February 9, 2004 from six (6) potential offerors. After a comprehensive and objective evaluation of the qualified proposals by an eight (8) member evaluation committee comprised of one (1) state and seven (7) county election subject matter experts, three (3) offerors were selected to present oral presentations to the committee March 23-25, 2004. On April 12, 2004, the SCSEC, based on the recommendation of the evaluation committee, issued through the Office of the State CIO Information Technology Management Office, an Intent to Award a contract to Supply Services and Products for a Uniform Statewide Voting System for the South Carolina State Election Commission to Election Systems & Software (ES&S).

Four (4) unsuccessful offerors filed protests to the Intent to Award: Diebold Election Systems; Palmetto Unilect, LLC.; iP Services, LLC; and Maximus. Maximus subsequently withdrew their protest. On May 13-14, 2004, an administrative review of the issues by the State Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) was held.. The CPO has ten (10) days to render a written decision regarding the issues presented at the administrative review.

The SCSEC continues to prepare for the eventual contract award and an implementation of the new uniform statewide voting system in time for the November General Election in those SC counties that currently use punch card voting systems and other counties expressing a desire to implement the system in 2004.

Status as of January 16, 2004:
The solicitation process was resumed effective January 15, 2004 after the procurement review panel heard and dismissed an appeal filed on December 10, 2003 by a prospective offeror whose protest was previously denied. The SEC also successfully resolved another protest to the answers to the questions regarding the RFP that was filed December 12, 2003 by the same prospective offeror. The RFP timetable has been updated to reflect the delays introduced by the appeal and protests. The SCSEC plans to issue an "intent to award" to the selected vendor in the early second quarter of 2004.

Status as of December 12, 2003:
An optional bidder's conference attended by numerous prospective offerors was held on October 21, 2003. 40 questions regarding the RFP were received from prospective offerors. Two prospective offerors submitted protests against the RFP which suspended the solicitation process on October 24, 2003. One of the two prospective offerors withdrew their protest prior to the administrative hearing conducted on November 21, 2003 to review the protests. The remaining protest was denied on December 1, 2003. Answers to the 40 questions from prospective offerors were posted and the solicitation process was resumed on December 2, 2003. The prospective offeror whose protest was denied filed an appeal on December 10, 2003. Further, the same prospective offeror submitted a protest on December 12, 2003 to the answers to the questions regarding the RFP again suspending the solicitation process. The SEC is working with Office of the State CIO Information Technology Procurement representatives to resume the solicitation process which is now approximately one month behind schedule.

Status as of October 14, 2003:
The RFP for a uniform statewide voting system has been posted to the State CIO website listed above. A bidders conference is scheduled for October 21, 2003 for offerors to ask questions about the RFP.

Status as of September 26, 2003:
The finalization of the RFP content has been delayed slightly to allow for additional quality assurance reviews to make certain the RFP is comprehensive yet clear. Preparation of the actual RFP document and associated process and procedures will be completed by early fall of
2003. The RFP will be released by Office of the State CIO Information Technology Procurement to vendors sometime in early fall of 2003. The SCSEC plans to issue an "intent to award" to the selected vendor in the mid to late first quarter of 2004.

Status as of August 25, 2003:
The development of requirements definition documentation is nearly complete. Preparation of the actual RFP and associated process and procedures are in progress and will be completed by late summer of 2003. The RFP will be released by the Office of the State CIO to vendors sometime in late summer/early fall of 2003. The SCSEC plans to issue an "intent to award" to the selected vendor in the first quarter of 2004.

Status as of July 25, 2003:
The system requirements for a statewide uniform electronic voting system have been gathered through a series of requirements gathering workshops with state and county-level election commission subject matter experts and three regional workshops attended by over 100 county election and voter registration commission representatives. A procurement requirements workshop has been completed with Budget & Control Board Information Technology Procurement subject matter experts. The development of requirements definition documentation and the actual RFP are in progress and will be completed by late summer of 2003. The RFP will be released by the Office of the State CIO to vendors sometime in late summer/early fall of 2003. The SCSEC plans to issue an "intent to award" to the selected vendor in the first quarter of 2004.

Status as of June 20, 2003:
In order to achieve its goal of developing and disseminating an RFP for a statewide uniform electronic voting system, the South Carolina State Election Commission (SCSEC) has outsourced the effort to accomplish development of the RFP and management of the subsequent process of vendor proposal evaluation. A project plan to accomplish these goals has been developed and is being implemented. The system requirements for a statewide uniform electronic voting system are being gathered through a series of workshops with state and county-level election commission subject matter experts. The requirements gathering process will be completed in mid-summer 2003. The development of requirements definition documentation and the actual RFP will be completed by late summer/early fall of 2003. The RFP will be released by the Office of the State CIO to vendors sometime in late summer/early fall of 2003. The SCSEC anticipates issuing an “intent to award” to the selected vendor in the first quarter of 2004.