Hart InterCivic

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Hart InterCivic Inc. is a privately held United States company that provides election technologies and services to government jurisdictions. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, Hart products are used by hundreds of jurisdictions nationwide, including counties in Texas, the entire states of Hawaii and Oklahoma, half of Washington and Colorado, and certain counties in Ohio, California, Idaho,[1] Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.[2]

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 machine. The eSlate was specifically designed to accommodate the needs of voter with disabilities. It is not a touch-screen device, but uses a Select Wheel and digital push-button interface.[citation needed]

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.

In the mid-2000s Hart entered[3] and then exited[4] the Geographic Information Systems business by acquiring and then spinning back out Farragut Systems.

Board of Directors and Ownership[edit]

In July 2011, Hart received what Hart described as "a strategic investment" from H.I.G. Capital,[5] in a transaction that Hart's advisors called an "acquisition."[6]

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.[7] 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.[8] As of October 2012, H.I.G. is the 11th largest of all the contributors to the Romney effort.[9]

H.I.G. counts Solamere Capital as a minor investor in one of its funds.[8] Solamere Capital is an investment firm founded by Mitt Romney's, son, Tagg Romney, and Spencer Zwick, Mitt Romney's campaign finance chair[10] 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.[9] Solamere is not invested in the specific H.I.G. fund that has an investment in Hart InterCivic.[8]

State reviews of election equipment[edit]

CA TTBR[edit]

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.[11]

OH EVEREST[edit]

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.[12]

Issues[edit]

During voting for the 2018 Texas general election, an Election Advisory was issued by the Director of Elections, Keith Ingram.[13] Voters using the InterCivic eSlate voting machine could have their votes adjusted or flipped while on a summary page if the buttons were interacted with if the page was not fully rendered.[14] The machines were in use in 82 counties in Texas during the 2018 election and have been certified for use in the state since 2009.[15][16]

Secretary Rolando Pablos later issued an additional Advisory, noting that "[I]t is important for all voters in the 82 Texas counties utilizing the Hart Intercivic eSlate to understand that the voting machines are not malfunctioning, nor are they arbitrarily 'switching' the choices of voters who cast a straight-party ballot," citing a "disturbing trend" in the distribution of misinformation about the integrity of the machines and the election.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bonneville County, Idaho Selects Hart InterCivic as Elections Vendor.
  2. ^ Gerry Bello & Bob Fitrakis for Free Press. September 27, 2012 Vote counting company ties to Romney
  3. ^ Hart InterCivic Press Release, June 12, 2007. Hart InterCivic Acquires Farragut Systems
  4. ^ GIS Cafe, June 01, 2009. Farragut Systems, a firm specializing on using GIS technology and consulting services to improve the integration of local government systems, is proud to announce its rebirth as an independent firm.
  5. ^ "Hart InterCivic Announces Strategic Investment by H.I.G. Capital". Hart InterCivic. July 6, 2011.
  6. ^ Cabrillo Advisors news release
  7. ^ "Hart Intercivic Board of Directors". Hart InterCivic. Archived from the original on October 29, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "Ohio elections boards deny that Mitt Romney backers or anyone else could tamper with results". Cleveland.com. October 24, 2012.
  9. ^ a b Rick Ungar (October 20, 2012). "Romney Family Investment Ties To Voting Machine Company That Could Decide The Election Causing Concern". Forbes.
  10. ^ Donovan Slack for the Boston Globe. October 7, 2011 Romney aide trades on political ties
  11. ^ "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" (PDF). California Secretary of State. 2007-08-03. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-03. Retrieved 2007-08-16.
  12. ^ Ohio Elections Official Calls Machines Flawed
  13. ^ Voting on Hart eSlate Machines - Election Advisory No. 2018-35 - Texas Secretary of State
  14. ^ Some Texans say voting machines are flipping selections to the other party - PBS NewsHour
  15. ^ Here’s how to avoid problems with straight-ticket voting in Texas - The Texas Tribune
  16. ^ Texans say voting machines changing straight-ticket choices - WBRE
  17. ^ [1]

External links[edit]