March 24, 2017

A Nod To Those Before Us

At Election Systems & Software (ES&S), we love the history of elections!  So much so, in fact, that we recently decided to pay homage to past industry inventors and innovators who had a significant impact on the evolution of voting.  We did this by naming several of our meeting rooms after these great contributors to the advancement of elections technology. Below you can find a brief summary of the person each room is named after.  We know that the innovative spirit of those who went before us will serve to help guide our vision for the voting systems of today as well as tomorrow.  


The Cordes Room - Tim Cordes helped develop precinct and central scanners for AIS and ES&S, as well as advanced methods for reading marked ovals (e.g., Intelligent Mark Recognition).  He wrote the requirements document for the DS850® high-speed scanner and tabulator but sadly passed away before he could see the product brought to market. There is a memorial for Tim in the entry way of our ES&S one-story building. Tim’s wife lovingly crafted a special tribute quilt by stitching together the various  ES&S shirts from elections Tim supported both near and far. When the DS850 is powered on, there is a dedication there as well. Tim’s name appears on multiple ES&S patents, and his innovative spirit will continue to influence the products we build for many years.  


The Talamante Room -  John Talamante was a Software Development Manager at ES&S in the early 2000s.  John was instrumental in hiring and managing a core team of full-time employees and contractors who were able to bring together a varied group of products either developed at ES&S or acquired from other companies into our Unity® Election Management Software.  The Unity product suite became ES&S’ first to achieve EAC certification. Unity is still widely used to run elections throughout the U.S. today. Many of the people John hired, managed and mentored are still at ES&S.  Sadly, John passed away suddenly in 2005 and did not live to see  Unity achieve EAC certification.


The Rouverol Room - William Rouverol was a professor of Mechanical Engineering who built the original Votomatic prototype, which was the first commercially successful punch card voting system. Mr. Rouverol was still alive when the punch card issues surfaced in the infamous 2000 Presidential election. He attempted to defend the punch card system at the time, but ultimately the nation moved away from punch card voting systems with the passing of the Help America Vote Act of 2002.


The Boothby Room  - William Boothby was the father of the secret ballot. He laid the groundwork for the current system of running an election with a secret ballot, including the concept of pre-printed ballots. The secret ballot started in his home country of Australia in 1856. The Boothby Election System was adopted in the United States in 1892 when Grover Cleveland was elected president. 



The Shoup Room - Samuel Shoup started the Shoup Voting Machine Company, a lever machine company that had parties in columns and could be collapsed for easier transport. In all, Shoup sold 100,000 lever-operated voting machines, half of which were still working and in use for the 2000 presidential election. 


The Gillespie Room - Alfred J. Gillespie was an inventor who introduced improvements and innovations to lever machines such as a selection lever next to each candidate and the curtain linked to the cast lever.