Hart InterCivic Inc. is a privately held United States company that provides elections, and print solutions to jurisdictions nationwide. While headquartered in Austin, Texas, Hart products are used by hundreds of jurisdictions nationwide, including as of October 2012, all counties of Texas, the entire states of Hawaii and Oklahoma, half of Washington and Colorado, and certain counties in Ohio, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
Hart entered the elections industry in 1912, printing ballots for Texas counties. The company, formerly a division of Hart Graphics, Inc., was established as a subsidiary called Hart Forms & Services in 1989. In 1995, to better communicate its full scope of document management services, Hart Forms & Services changed its name to Hart Information Services, Inc. During the next five years, Hart Information Services rapidly expanded its market presence through the acquisition of three major election services providers: Texas County Printing & Services, Computer Link Corporation, and Worldwide Election Systems. Worldwide was the developer of the eSlate, Hart's direct recording electronic (DRE) voting solution. The eSlate was specifically designed to accommodate the needs of voter with disabilities. It is not a touch-screen solution, but uses a Select Wheel and digital push-button interface.
The need for document management and election services continued to grow, and in 1999, the company spun off completely from Hart Graphics. In 2000, the company became Hart InterCivic Inc., reflecting its corporate mission to service the interactive relationship of Hart InterCivic, state and local governments, and the citizens they serve.
Board of Directors and Ownership
As of October 2012, the Board has five members: Gregg Burt, Chairman; Phillip Braithwaite, Chief Executive Officer; Neil Tuch, Managing Director, H.I.G. Capital; Jeff Bohl, Principal, H.I.G. Capital; and Amanda Kalin, Associate, H.I.G. Capital. HIG controls 3 out of 5 board seats.
Two of the H.I.G. Directors that work for H.I.G., Neil Tuch and Jeff Bohl, have previously made contributions to presidential campaigns – Neil Tuch contributed to both the Obama and Romney campaigns prior to H.I.G.’s investment in Hart InterCivic, and Jeff Bohl contributed to the Romney campaign in 2011. As of October 2012, H.I.G. is the 11th largest of all the contributors to the Romney effort.
H.I.G. counts Solamere Capital as a minor investor in one of its funds. Solamere Capital is an investment firm founded by Mitt Romney's, son, Tagg Romney, and Spencer Zwick, Mitt Romney's campaign finance chair and in which Mitt Romney's brother, Scott, and Mitt Romney's wife, Ann, and Mitt Romney himself has invested, and which is run by Tagg Romney. Solamere is not invested in the specific H.I.G. fund that has an investment in Hart InterCivic.
On August 3, 2007, California Secretary of State Debra Bowen withdrew approval and then granted conditional reapproval of Hart InterCivic optical scan and DRE voting machines after a "top-to-bottom review" of California voting machines.
A report commissioned by Ohio’s top elections official on December 15, 2007 has found that all five voting systems used in Ohio (including one made by Hart InterCivic) have critical flaws that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election.
- Electronic voting
- Voting machine
- Election Assistance Commission
- National Institute of Standards and Technology
- Voluntary Voting System Guidelines
- Certification of voting machines
- Geographic Information System
- Gerry Bello & Bob Fitrakis for Free Press. September 27, 2012 Vote counting company ties to Romney
- Hart InterCivic Press Release, June 12, 2007. Hart InterCivic Acquires Farragut Systems
- GIS Cafe, June 01, 2009. Farragut Systems, an industry-leading firm specializing on using GIS technology and consulting services to improve the integration of local government systems, is proud to announce it’s rebirth as an independent firm.
- "Hart InterCivic Announces Strategic Investment by H.I.G. Capital". Hart InterCivic. July 6, 2011.
- Cabrillo Advisors news release
- "Hart Intercivic Board of Directors". Hart InterCivic. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
- "Ohio elections boards deny that Mitt Romney backers or anyone else could tamper with results". Cleveland.com. October 24, 2012.
- Rick Ungar (October 20, 2012). "Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern". Forbes.
- Donovan Slack for the Boston Globe. October 7, 2011 Romney aide trades on political ties
- "Withdrawal of Approval of Hart InterCivic System 6.2.1 DRE & Optical Scan Voting System and Conditional Re-approval of Use of Hart InterCivic System 6.2.1 DRE & Optical Scan Voting System". California Secretary of State. 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2007-08-16.[dead link]
- Ohio Elections Official Calls Machines Flawed December 15, 2007 NYT