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Kucinich: Enron Accountants Should Not Run Military Voting

Calls Contract With Former Arthur Anderson Company Inherently Flawed And Unacceptable

Washington, Oct 1 -

Today, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) called the Department of Defense (DOD) awarding a contract for a new system for electronic voting for military personnel living overseas to the firm that at the heart of the Enron accounting scandal inherently flawed and unacceptable.

Accenture, formerly Arthur Anderson was awarded a contract with the Department of Defense to work on the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE). The SERVE is a new voting system that is intended to allow military personnel and some Americans overseas to case absentee votes over the Internet in the 2004 general election. On Monday, Accenture subcontracted with VeriSign to provide certain components of the new SERVE.

Accenture, formerly called Arthur Anderson Consulting, is now rebranded with the name Accenture and is based in Bermuda. It has had numerous failings in many states in its the operation of government contracted computer systems by running up excessive charges, failing to meet basic system criteria, having incomplete or duplicate records, and long backlogs.

"While voting services for our servicemen and women should be improved, contracting out this work to the very company at the heart of the Enron accounting scandal is unacceptable,” stated Kucinich. “Arthur Andersen couldn't count Enron's dollars, why should we trust its progeny, Accenture, to count the votes of our military personnel.”

“While it would be convenient for personnel to use a computer in an Internet café or library where they are stationed overseas, the security and ownership of those computers is completely unknown,” continued Kucinich. “It is too much to ask any American citizen to trust the privacy of their vote to an unknown computer in an unknown overseas location with unknown ownership. Our service members serving overseas deserve to cast their votes with the same privacy and security that every citizen here in the states does. This plan is nothing short of outsourcing the 2000 Florida election debacle overseas.”