Voting Vendor Lacks Paper Trail

[Edit notes moved to the bottom of this post, Greg]

When Diebold declined to share proprietary software with NC elections officials in 2005, Electronic Systems and Software (ES&S), through Printelect, became the only approved vendor of election equipment in North Carolina. Printelect is a North Carolina company with offices in New Bern and printing operations in Fayetteville. Printelect is the authorized dealer for ES&S in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia and the only ES&S certified printing vendor in these states. Printelect specializes in printed optical scan ballots which it supplies nationwide as well as providing other election related products.

Printelect is presented on company websites as "Printelect, Inc.," and as the "Owen G. Dunn Company" doing business as "Printelect". The NC Secretary of State's Office has no record of a corporate filing for "Printelect, Inc.," either as a new company, name change or merger. The last Annual Report filed by the Owen G. Dunn Company was for the fiscal year ending 12/31/2004. The company also operates "Dunn's Office Solutions" in New Bern.

Searches of the records of the Registers of Deeds in Cumberland County, Craven County and Wake County do not indicate the filing of any Assumed Name Forms for an entity named Printelect. The only related filing was in 1998 in Cumberland County for the "Owen G. Dunn Company" DBA "Fayetteville Printing and Office Supply Company".

Since 2006 there have been some concerns about the cost of printed optical ballots for ES&S machines due to very specific requirements mandated by ES&S which amount to a 20 cent premium per ballot.

In Wake County, N.C., which uses ES&S optical scan machines, Board of Elections Director Cherie Poucher said a local, non-ES&S certified vendor, Commercial Printing, charges no more than 13 cents per ballot. Printelect charges up to 33 cents per ballot.

Poucher said her elections office felt it was wise to use Printelect for the 2006 primary and general elections because those were the first elections using new state-required voting equipment.

By all accounts Printelect is a responsible and reliable vendor and election observers are relieved that Diebold did not succeed in 2005. At a meeting of the Forsyth Board of Elections in 2006 Joyce McCloy of the NC Coalition for Verified Voters commended the Board for not choosing Diebold voting equipment. At the same meeting Elections Director Rob Mr. Coffman discussed the printing of the ballot:

He stated he got a quote from PrintElect, who was an ES&S recommended vendor, and the ballots would cost 28 cents each. He received a quote from another ES&S certified printer in Michigan and the ballots would be 14 cents each. He explained had talked with the State Board of Elections and they were fine with using the Michigan printer on the condition they get ballots to test and are able to confirm the quality of the ballots.

From Printelect.com and PrintelectStore.com

Printelect, Inc., located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, formerly Owen G. Dunn Company and Fayetteville Printing Company have been in business combined for over 176 years. We have printed optical scan ballots since their introduction in the Southeast in 1976.
:::::
Today, we are the largest printer of optical scan ballots on the east coast, and one of the largest in the United States. In most election years, we will produce over 10 million ballots. We currently furnish most optical scan ballots used in North Carolina, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, South Carolina, Missouri, Alaska, Virginia and New Mexico.
:::::
Originally trained and certified by Election Systems and Software (ES&S), we print ballots for the Optech III-P Eagle and Optech III-P machines. We work together with your ballot programmer in answering any technical questions which may arise concerning your ballots.

I am not a connoisseur of elections, election equipment or procedures. Others are much more knowledgeable (and opinionated) than me on the subject. From what I know optical scan technology is very reliable, ES&S is deemed superior to Diebold in North Carolina and Printelect has been dependable. I have always been troubled by the sole sourcing of equipment, supplies and service. For matters related to the integrity and security of voting I would however expect the credentials of vendors to be impeccable and verifiable. When voter registration criteria, including identity and location, are contentious I don't think it is too much to ask that Printelect formally register where it conducts business.

Q. How long has Printelect been in the elections business?
A. Formerly Owen G. Dunn Company, founded in 1902, in New Bern, North Carolina, Printelect has been in the election industry for over one hundred years. As the largest printer of optical scan ballots and one of the largest printers in the country, we currently furnish millions of ballots throughout the United States annually. As an authorized dealer for Election Systems and Software (ES&S) in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, we have extensive experience with optical scan and DRE technology. Printelect has installed and maintained the state-wide voting systems in both North Carolina and South Carolina and we are currently growing transactions throughout Virginia. Our corporate office is located in New Bern, North Carolina and our printing facility (formerly Fayetteville Printing and Office Supply) is located in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

[Edit notes moved to the bottom of this post and retained for the record. I believe the questions raised have been addressed. Greg]

NOTE: NC Voter has links to the Secretary of State filings, which suggest Greg may have missed a document in his research. I'm leaving this up on the front-page until he has a chance to weigh in. Don't you just love the interTubes? The truth will out.

Would the person who has inserted this edit please identify themselves and note my comments below. My information comes from the same document. I have not missed it. Greg

My mistake. A. Sorry for the confusion.

Comments

If they are not registered in the state

does that mean they are not contributing to our tax base?

Have you called to support H. Res 333 Impeach Cheney Today? call 202-224-3121 & ask for your Congress member by name

Tax

They are probably paying their taxes as one entity or another. For example Cumberland county Revenue lists them for business property as "OWEN G DUNN CO T/A PRINT ELECT".

You're amazing

Great work.

And you're right. It's not too much to ask.

That's irrelevant

From Wake County RoD for example:

State law dictates that most types of businesses file with the Register of Deeds in the county where they will operate. The document that files or puts on record a business name of an individual, partnership, or corporation other than its own name is referred to as Doing Business As, DBA, or Assumed Name.

NC General Statute § 66-68 requires that "before any person or partnership engages in business in any county in this State under an assumed name or under any designation, name or style other than the real name of the owner or owners thereof, before any limited partnership engaged in business in any county in this State other than under the name set out in the Certificate filed with the Office of the Secretary of State or before a corporation engages in business in any county other than under its corporate name, such person, partnership, limited partnership, or corporation must file in the office of the register of deeds of such county a certificate...".

Assumed Name Registration Forms can be obtained from the NC Department of Commerce and filed with a county RoD if Owen G Dunn is DBA "Printelect"

If operating as "Printelect, Inc.," they need to register as a corporation with NC Secretary of State.

Or, if the "Owen G Dunn" name was changed to "Printelect, Inc.," the name change should be reported to the Sec. of State.

ID

Here's a company that produces 10 million ballots per year and no-one is checking their ID. Vendors can provide a back door for vote fraud. There ought to be more verification of vendors and their employees than of individual voters.

vendor's CEO had to sign sworn affadavit, Diebold fled instead

Has the author called the people at Print Elect? its possible that an answer may follow, an answer that can be verified.

The cost of paper did go up, and this is not news. This is a nationwide phenomenon. Now that the new voting machines have been used a few times, counties can safely use paper from other printer sources, testing them during low turnout elections. The cost will go back down. Meanwhile, the SBOE will be paying for the ballots and programming for the next general elections.

Three vendors were certified to do business in North Carolina:
Diebold, ES&S and Sequoia (conditionally).

I went to court several times - one to have Diebold't TRO revoked, so that they would have to obey all tenets of our law if they wanted to do business in NC,

and I sued the SBOE and the State's IT dept, charging that they hadn't properly certified the voting systems, and that all certifications should be revoked.
After several hearings a judge (we had a few) ruled in favor of the SBOE based on the SBOE using the "independent certification" labs' review to serve as their source code review. It was also getting close to the primary, and I doubt the judge wanted to be the one blamed for problems with the primary.

Here is the section of the Public Confidence in Elections law that holds vendors accountable:

SECTION 2.(a) Part 2 of Article 14A of Chapter 163 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:

"§ 163‑165.9A. Voting systems: requirements for voting systems vendors; penalties.

(a) Duties of Vendor. – Every vendor that has a contract to provide a voting system in North Carolina shall do all of the following:

(1) The vendor shall place in escrow with an independent escrow agent approved by the State Board of Elections all software that is relevant to functionality, setup, configuration, and operation of the voting system, including, but not limited to, a complete copy of the source and executable code, build scripts, object libraries, application program interfaces, and complete documentation of all aspects of the system including, but not limited to, compiling instructions, design documentation, technical documentation, user documentation, hardware and software specifications, drawings, records, and data. The State Board of Elections may require in its request for proposal that additional items be escrowed, and if any vendor that agrees in a contract to escrow additional items, those items shall be subject to the provisions of this section. The documentation shall include a list of programmers responsible for creating the software and a sworn affidavit that the source code includes all relevant program statements in low‑level and high‑level languages.

(2) The vendor shall notify the State Board of Elections of any change in any item required to be escrowed by subdivision (1) of this subsection.

(3) The chief executive officer of the vendor shall sign a sworn affidavit that the source code and other material in escrow is the same being used in its voting systems in this State. The chief executive officer shall ensure that the statement is true on a continuing basis.

(4) The vendor shall promptly notify the State Board of Elections and the county board of elections of any county using its voting system of any decertification of the same system in any state, of any defect in the same system known to have occurred anywhere, and of any relevant defect known to have occurred in similar systems.

(5) The vendor shall maintain an office in North Carolina with staff to service the contract.

(b) Penalties. – Willful violation of any of the duties in subsection (a) of this section is a Class G felony. Substitution of source code into an operating voting system without notification as provided by subdivision (a)(2) of this section is a Class I felony. In addition to any other applicable penalties, violations of this section are subject to a civil penalty to be assessed by the State Board of Elections in its discretion in an amount of up to one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) per violation. A civil penalty assessed under this section shall be subject to the provisions of G.S. 163‑278.34(e)."

Diebold didn't like our law, and left, although they have a touch-screen manufacturing plant about 30 miles from my house.

12/23/2005 Joyce McCloy: Diebold quits NC, is it really about Microsoft? Diebold escrowed operating system in Ga, why not in NC? They were not at liberty, they claimed, to disclose the source code for "operating systems, drivers and myriad other pieces of code that are present in any computer system." Their specific concern is apparently Microsoft Windows CE. They appear to have had no qualms about escrowing Microsoft's source code in other states.
Given that Diebold was decertified in California for misrepresentation to the Secretary of State and for installing uncertified software on the machines, it is easy to be skeptical about their public statements. In this case it seems concerns about proprietary third-party software may have been less of a factor than the "harsh criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance" imposed by North Carolina law. Full article

12/22/2005 VoteTrustUSA: Diebold pulls out of NC, offers to help the State Board of Elections change law - In a surprising reversal, Diebold has notified the North Carolina State Board of Elections that they are withdrawing from the procurement process in the state. They also offered their assistance in "revising" the state's recently passed election laws to better suit their product.

Right now our biggest problems in North Carolina are getting rid of the touch-screens, providing sufficient poll workers, dealing with electronic poll books which may or may not have a paper backup, the complexities of Same Day Registration (need more poll workers please), and making sure people get to vote.
We also have George Gilbert, anti paper election director in Guilford County who is trying hard to prove that paper doesn't work.

Did you miss this? Vendor registered since at least since 1941

Did you go to the Secretary of State's website and type in "owen g dunn"?

I went to the SOS site and found the paper trail:

Date: 9/12/2007

Click here to:
View Document Filings
|
Print apre-populated Annual Report Form | Annual Report Count | File an Annual Report |

Corporation Names

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Name Name Type
Owen G. Dunn Company Legal
Business Corporation Information

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

SOSID: 0043956

Status: Current-Active

Date Formed: 1/6/1941
Citizenship: Domestic

State of Inc.: NC
Duration: Perpetual

Department of the Secretary of State

Of course

That's how I was able to make this statement:

The last Annual Report filed by the Owen G. Dunn Company was for the fiscal year ending 12/31/2004

So, back to the original question

If Printelect is Owen G. Dunn and they have no annual reports in the last two years, why are any officials in the state doing business with them?

And why are corporations allowed to do business under different names but not be easily found at the Secretary of State's website? If they're doing business as Printelect, why doesn't the Secretary of State insist that they file under that name. I'm sick of trying to find records for organizations and having to get a degree in record-finding to locate information that is supposedly gathered by the state (or the feds) for my benefit.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

It's frustrating.

That last report for the fiscal year ending 12/31/2004 had a signature dated 5/5/06 and was recorded 5/22/06. There is one 2005 filed in '07 but it is listed as "not accepted". An '07 filing should be for 2006.

try this:

And again, this is nothing compared to Bev Harris of Black Box Voting fame messing up her orgs 990s about 4 times for the first year, and her 2004 990 wasnt available until mid 2006, and only made available after a person at Democratic Underground posted the request that had been ignored.

You can get contact info for SOS office, and call them tomorrow, and ask them if this is unusual and what the situation is.

You can contact the State Board of Elections and ask their General Counsel what the facts are too:

Let us know what they say.

Paperwork

I have no clue who Bev Harris is or why that is relevant. This is a company with a large role in the NC election process, which is responsible for the accuracy of some 10 million ballots per year. The dearth of recorded documents may somehow, by some stretch of the imagination, be explainable but it is hardly excusable given the responsibilities involved. Sloppy paperwork is not a good thing coming from a company based on proving accurate paperwork.

the relevance: you linked to her website and

It is relevent because you are linking to a website of a organization that claims to be pushing for election transparency - by has questionable IRS filings and sloppy sloppy paperwork.

An organization that did not file the proper paperwork with its home state of Washington as a Charity, while operating as a charity. This is ironic. It's in the post about the attorney evaluting the fiduciary duty of BBV.org and the nearly $1 million sitting uninvested. (what was being done with that money?).

I will wait to hear what the SOS has to say about this paperwork before I will jump to conclusions.

The vendor did have to post a large amount of bond in order to do business as a voting systems vendor in NC.

"(1) That the vendor post a bond or letter of credit to cover damages resulting from defects in the voting system. Damages shall include, among other items, any costs of conducting a new election attributable to those defects"

Harris

Thanks for the (previous) explanation (which you have since deleted). I still don't know who she is. I did link to a document which appears to be a fairly reasonable explanation from Printelect regarding the costs of certain printed ballots for certain machines. I deliberately linked to the PDF and not the web page with added commentary. The link is neither an endorsement nor a criticism of either BVV or Printelect. I also provided a link to a Florida story that mentioned humidity issues.

The bulk of this thread of comments might have been avoided if I had provided the link to SOS with my original reference to Owen G Dunn. Unfortunately such a link can not be provided for Printelect.

no I have not deleted anything

the link to article about Bev Harris's .org and its questionable handling of the paperwork is still here.

As for the link, that came from her website.

most creditable documents can be obtained elsewhere.

I thought it odd to see a County BOE report from 2006 with my name in it, and thats the only reason I bothered with this waste of time.

I await the actual word of the SOS and not the SOS website considering that this may be a mountain out of a molehill.

This vendor had to go through all sorts of gyrations to do business in this state, as did the other two which were certified. Considering the paperwork submitted and scrutinized, the lawyers involved, the scutiny, is is one thing that I don't believe portends doom and gloom. If they were sloppy with their paperwork (waiting for SOS to verify that) then I am anxious to hear the SOS opinion on what that means.

If the vendor is rigging elections, then our audits must not be working to detect them.

These paper ballots will just be useless if that is the case.

Missing

You deleted or edited the first sentence that you originally posted where you used the acronym "OP" in much shorter comment. I know this because I was responding directly to it. It is only of consequence to the extent that the change changed the meaning of my response and I quickly added to my comment to clarify that.

There are only a handful of BOEs that post some minutes online.

If you are anxious to hear what the SOS has to say I recommend doing so yourself as nothing I say would seem to convince you. It is unclear what you are expecting as you appear to be asking for positive proof of a negative. You need the "actual word of the SOS" not my version of it.

I have stated that the some things are missing. Some thing do not add up. I don't have to prove where the missing things are to observe that the fact they are missing is troublesome.

Bond

Assuming a bond or bonds wire posted I would be curious to find out the business names used. (Owen G Dunn, Printelect and/or ES&S)

The SOS paperwork you keep talking about relates to the entity known as "Owen G Dunn Company". If that is how they are doing business then the issue is one of late paperwork.

There are also separate corporate filings for ES&S as an out of state corporation at the SOS.

If they are doing business as "Printelect, Inc.," there is no paperwork yet at the SOS to ask about, but there should be.

If they are doing business as "Printelect" there would be no paperwork at the SOS but there should be at the Craven County Register of Deeds if not also the Cumberland County Register of Deeds.

I am doing something

n/t

the rest of the story: Diebold filed a TRO to evade our law

this story leaves out why I commended my County BOE for not buying Diebold.

Diebold went behind closed doors and filed a TRO to protect them from a huge section of our voting law.

I had to go to court several times, first just to get standing, then back a few more to get the judges up to speed, and then got Diebold's TRO revoked.

Diebold gutted North Carolina's law. We fought and beat them.

The other vendors did not pull that type of stunt.

If they had, they would have been in court too.

I also sued to revoke certification of all vendors.
The judge ruled against me that time, it would have been a tough decision either way.

NCV

I sincerely appreciate your efforts on behalf of NC voters.

Printelect simply needs to cross their "t"s and dot their "i"s to reduce their vulnerability to legal challenge. Based on what I have found I have no reason to believe that a phone call or email from me would achieve that. I have chosen to get their attention and the attention of people, like yourself, who care about voting by writing this post.

Thank you for your spirited contribution.

we had trouble getting paper trail for Bev Harris' .org

You said the vendor had no paper trail, right? Now there is one, but its not up to date. Do you think this is abnormal? Do you have all of the details?

Why not ask the SOS if the vendor did not provide the info, or if the SOS is behind on filing?

What is customary for all vendors as far these filings?

Meanwhile, in the realm of up to date and or shocking documents of corporations:

The non profit "black box voting", which took in nearly $ 1 million its first year, and the orgs tax filings for 2004 (called 990s for non profits, since they don't pay tax) weren't available until around June of 2006
I don't know the customary time to file these things, check with the SOS.

Even non profits like Bev Harris, who preaches transparency - didn't provide her organization's 990s until publicly prodded on a public message board.

And one law professor wrote this about her orgs' tax returns:

Possible Breach of Fiduciary Duty at Black Box Voting?-- I. Introduction.

I was cruising the diaries of AnonymousArmy at DailyKos and came across a late June 2006 discussion of a disturbing set of documents, the IRS Form 990 and Schedule A for the 2004-2005 fiscal year for the charity, Black Box Voting, Inc. (BlackBoxVoting.org).

For those who are unaware, Black Box Voting is one of the organizations that has alleged voting irregularities in the 2004 election, especially associated with the Diebold voting machines. I know very little about the merits of these claims or about the incredibly nasty internecine warfare between BBV and other voting reform groups. Kos diarist AnonymousArmy has often been harshly critical of BBV and its most prominent officers and employees, as have many others in that movement. I have no idea who is right or wrong on these voting machine issues; my concern here is over serious questions with BBV’s Form 990.

My analysis is based on BBV’s IRS tax returns (Form 990 and its Schedule A), which are posted on BBV's website (and apparently have been posted there for about 6 weeks).

II. All of BBV's Financial Assets Were Held in Non-Interest Bearing Accounts.

Leaving aside some small math errors in the return noted by posters at DailyKos, the thing that really jumps out on Black Box Voting's Form 990 is something that Kos commenters notice, but don’t seem to understand the full import of: Black Box Voting shows $972,304 in “Gifts, grants, and contributions received” (990 Schedule A, p.3, ln.15) and the return shows $613,309 as “Cash--non-interest-bearing” at the end of the year (990, p.4, ln.45). Despite this huge cash account, the return shows no “interest or dividends” from investments (990 Schedule A, p.3, ln.18) for the entire year!

I find it hard (but not impossible) to come up with a scenario under which this charity is operating legally with nearly a million dollars in receipts and over $600,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the year with no interest or investment income for the year.
more at the link

This appearance of ethical lapse (2/3 of a $million "sitting" in a cash acct) can lead to questions. That is why I never have accepted any donations for all of the work I do in NC.

Many are surprised when they learn how profitable a "non profit" can be!

Non-profits

Or more accurately- Not For Profit corporations are so called because no profit can inure to a Director (as in Board of Directors). Any related party to a not for profit corp cannot legally make profit simply for signing their name on a paper, or being on a board. This is different from For-Profit corporations.

The 990 form would be filed a certain amount of time after the end of the corporation's fiscal year -which is often different from the calendar year. For example, many private not for profit corps that do business with the state of NC follow the state's fiscal year, which is July 1 through June 30. Others might follow the Federal fiscal year - which runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Ergo, if fiscal 2006 ended on June 30, 2007, you might not see the official 990 filing until some time in 2008. Numbers like that by themselves would not be that unusual (I don't think) or inappropriate - especially if extensions had been filed. That, too, is not that unusual, since there are audit requirements for private, not-for-profit corps. in NC. The books for the fiscal year must be audited (or should be) audited before the tax return can completed.

I'm making these statements based on my experience as the Exec. Director of a private, not-for-profit corporation that follows the NC fiscal year. I could look up all the references and find links, etc. to back it up, but it's late and I'm tired. I'm sure if I've made a mistake, some one will be quick to correct me. I won't take it badly. Probably. :)


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Harris' Non Profit had 2/3 $million in "non interest" bearing ac

Harris org is a 501 C 3 "non profit" and for somereason, about $ 2/3 of a million sat in an account that didn't earn interest.

The lawyer said that this was a breach of fiduciary duty, because that money should have been earning interest.

He said that it should be investigated to see where that money was for that year.

It could have been mis appropriated during that time.

And the BBV non profit skipped merrily along making big bucks while getting as many extensions as possible before finally filing and showing some transparency.

I have contract agreements that

forbid my agency from earning interest on the money that is granted to me. It does seem irresponsible to have any amount of money - even one much smaller than 2/3 of a million dollars - in a non-interest bearing account. It is often unreal the restrictions that is put on money by grantors and/or donors. It's not common, but it's not unheard of.

As for "merrily skipping along" - I don't doubt that it seems that way to you and the others who brought suit. Sometimes, it's just how it is. I don't know the details of the case -- and am still not sure what it has to do with Greg's original question about Print Elect -- but as the E. D. of a not-for-profit org. I'm not surprised that someone from the outside looking in can't figure it out. We need accountants and private auditors to help us figure ours out and meet all the requirements, and our annual budget is about 1.3 million. Restrictions on the funds only allow me to spend a certain percentage of funds on our independent financial consultants - so a lot of the routine stuff falls to staff or volunteers who are not experts. They're just trying to follow rules.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Clarification

I find it hard (but not impossible) to come up with a scenario under which this charity is operating legally with nearly a million dollars in receipts and over $600,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the year with no interest or investment income for the year.

As I stated in a post somewhere on this page, sometime this morning -- it is not common but not unheard of for not-for-profit organizations to have a sizeable amount of cash on hand at the end of the fiscal year. Nor is it unusual for funds granted or donated to such an organization to be restricted in the use, etc. Sometimes the stipulations put on interest earned make grantor imposed reporting requirements not worth the amount of money. Sometimes its stipulated that any interest earned be returned to the grantor. Often, the amount of interest earned could reduce the amount of the grant/donation originally agreed upon. It's convoluted, but it's really how things are. I just don't know how to say that more plainly. It's worth a question to the organization, certainly. I doubt it was worth the money it took to hire a lawyer and attempt to file a suit. It cost the organization money, too. Money that could have gone towards its mission, instead of defending a frivolous lawsuit brought by an over-zealous attorney.

I have to say this, too. Many not-for-profits are organized by people who are passionate about a cause, and not necessarily expert in business, law and taxes. It takes a lot to run one, even one that isn't that big. I empathize. I might have handled things differently, but I certainly can see a path to that situation that is not sinister.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

and why doesn't someone call the SOS tomorrow and find out?

that would be better than trying to second guess the data provided by the SOS website.

We go from "No Paper Trail" to "Not enough paper trail".

I like to do my research and confirm something before posting it to the internet.

Voting Vendor Lacks Paper Trail

At no point did I say "no paper trail". They have been operating openly as Printelect for 2 6 years but the simple act of registering has eluded them.

Maybe I should send this one to Les Merritt.

are you a friend of Les Merritt's?

If you prefer to ask the republican auditor about what the Secretary of State says, by all means.

Meanwhile, the records are posted to the SOS site and they would be my first guess on who to contact.

You aren't by chance friends with Les Merritt, are you?

He got into some rather nasty trouble for interfering with our voter rolls, by the way.

NCVoter, you seem pretty angry

Are you connected to Printelect? If not, I can't understand why you think it's great to have a company that hasn't filed forms in two years.

My husband had a non-profit for 10 years and if his forms were late, he got lots of nasty letters.

If you don't file your public documents on time, companies and candidates open themselves up to questions like "What are you trying to hide?" And "How can we trust you with an election when you can't even file simple forms on time?"

Are you trying to say the forms being so out-of-order is normal or is some kind of problem at the Secretary of State's end of things?

Again, I'm having trouble understanding why you are so defensive of this company.
 
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

Exactly.

My husband had a non-profit for 10 years and if his forms were late, he got lots of nasty letters.

If you miss a filing - of anything - they are on you like white on rice. I have to admit to having been on the receiving end of some of those letters. It's really not a bad thing - because there is some measure of a public trust when you're operating as a not-for-profit. [The official IRS designation is 501(c)(3)].


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

no, go to the SOS website and READ

If people throw out accusations about e-voting issues, and they are inaccurate, it hurts the creditability of ALL activists.

See my other post, . Look - at - the - SOS - website.

Accusations should be vetted, IMHO. Once its out on the internet, you can't take it back.

NO, I dont have any affiliations with any voting machine vendors, nor with any election officials, or any industry.

By the way, Diebold has a factory in North Carolina, do you have ties to them?

I take care of my elderly parent while doing this activism around that.

Unlike some in the e-voting activism field, I make not one dime.

Some are getting rich at this, and are actually making our elections worse by sabotaging the efforts to get paper in each state.

Once its out on the internet, you can't take it back.

I did not undertake this post lightly. The Printelect website has this statement:

Printelect, Inc., located in Fayetteville, North Carolina, formerly Owen G. Dunn Company and Fayetteville Printing Company

The have been operating as Printelect since at least April 21, 2001.

Plenty of time to leave a paper trail, (unless it's buried somewhere in Gaston County in a ballot box.) *snark

But they did file forms....

...as recently as 2007.

And yes there are backups at the SOS office.

Joyce isn't being so defensive about the company. She just wonders where Greg Flynn's sudden interest in this vendor came from?

It's isn't the typical water-cooler conversation.

We aren't trusting Printelect with the election - we are trusting the county and state BOEs with the election.

Greg - if you really want to get pissed off about voting in NC, let's get you involved in trying to get Rush Holt's HR811 passed at the Federal level. You know that our NC Public Confidence in Elections Act (passed in 2005) is the reason why the Brennan Center rated NC #1in the country for ensuring accurate elections. HR811 is a federalized version of our tough state law.

Some of the very same people who were trying to stop our law in NC are trying to do the same thing with the Holt bill. There are many reasons why - but many of the vendors don't want to see tough Federal regulations for anything, Can you imagine federal regs mandating open-source and voter owned software? Must give Bill Gates the hebbie-jebbies!

Greg - your other blogs indicate that you live in Raleigh and are on the Democratic Meet up groups. Are you a Democrat? Many good Democrats worked hard to get the 2005 law passed, and we worked hard to get if amended to call for random audits in 2006. We also worked hard to get 100% paper ballots in Wake County. We continue to work hard to make sure that every eligible voter can register, know how to vote, and have their votes cast and counted. Come join us!

Sudden interest?

When would be a good time? When I find out about it or the day after the next election?

I usually become interested in something while turning over some other rocks and some pattern, connection or inconsistency catches my attention.

In this case I happened to be investigating a tip about a software company that might be connected to vote fraud. New Bern was mentioned as a location of one of the people associated with this. Printelect is the only election related company located in New Bern I have identified thus far. There is NO connection to Printelect that I found or that I am looking for.

However, in trying to eliminate Printelect from suspicion I discovered that it is one of at least four business identities used by this company. I have researched all four to the best of my abilities.

I think you will find that I am one of the people here who is not "pissed off". despite becoming the object of a lot of passionate criticism I have tried to remain focussed and objective.

I didn't focus on Printelect. It emerged because I could not document its existence. It is presented as a corporate entity which it is not. To the best of my knowledge Printelect has never filed relevant forms.

Telling me about Owen G Dunn filing is a red herring especially as those filings are patently deficient.

Burning energy on a smackdown of a legitimate question is not a particularly productive use of progressive time.

You were investigating a tip

You were investigating a tip about a software company that might be connected to vote fraud. Where - In NC?

What specific vote fraud you are alleging? Who is alleging the vote fraud in NC? Who gave you the tip - Bev Harris? A ES&S competitor? Or some other enemy of verified voting with a paper trail?

First you mention a software company - then you mention a person who might be connected to the vote fraud. Who is this person you feel is connected to the vote fraud? Are you alleging that they are affiliated with Owen G. Andrews or Printelect? You say you are not doing that - so it is good that you are clarifying this.

So what is wrong with a company using different names to do business under? Is there a law against that?

You say you cannot document the existence of Printelect. How hard have you looked? Have you physically gone to that county to look for those documents? I can tell you from experience that not every document is availabie on the Internet. And I am not sure what the best of your abilities are. If you only do research on the net - perhaps you might want to raise the bar on your investigative techniques.

Last year, i was involved in a political campaign. I did some research on a political candidate who claimed to have lived and registered to vote in Wake County when he turned 18 - he was in his 30s at the time. The county BOE website had nothing on this guy going back more than 2 or 3 years. The SBOE website had nothing ealier than that either. However - a visit to the Wake BOE headquarters building turned up that he in fact did register to vote at age 18. So you can't always claim that a document doesn't exist - and that a business is not in compliance with the law - if all you have done is not be able to find a document on a website.

He might in fact be a DBA in that county. Have you gone to the ROD office to physically search the file? Have you called them up to ask them to look? Sometimes counties don't always have the latest, greatest or simplest way to search for documents.

Did you go down to the SOS office and do a physical search for documents?

It could also be something as simple as a typo or an honest mistake. Sometimes creative types like copyrighters make mistakes and they are not caught by the higher ups. if so, perhaps it was a bit rash to be alleging in print or on a blog that Printelect was doing something fraudulent or might be associated with fraud?

Burning energy on a smackdown of a legitimate question is not a particularly productive use of progressive time. Believe me - I have burned energy on very productive smackdowns.

However, there might be more productive sources of information for your question other than posting them to an internet blog - especially when A). your posting made it seem that the vendor was engaging in fraud even if you say it was not your original intenition to do so; B) all but a few of the people who commented on your posting admit they don't know enough about the topic to answer your question; C) you might want to be careful about going public invesitigating tips from sources when all you have done is search a couple of databases that you assume are up to date.

Did you call up or e-mail Owen Andrews at Owen G Dunn/Printelect and tell him you found a mistake on his website? Did you call or e-mail the SBOE and ask them to investigate?

In general before I go public with something that I know is a legitimate question, I try and turn over lots of rocks. I don't rely on the Internet for everything. When I am trying to find out info about someone, sometimes you actually have to visit a government office - or even visit a research department of a local library - to find out about them. A good source of information about businesses and individuals is the Polk City Directory. They are on line, but that is a fee-paid service. You can find their directories and use them for free in most public libraries - they are an excellant source of information. Even they are not infalible - someone could be listed as having lived at an address even if they weren't there that year. It will only tell you who lives there - not who owns the property. And if you don't want to give the Polk people your information - you don't have to.

So once again - just because you can't find something - it doesn't mean it's not there. It just might mean you haven't looked hard enough.

Is there a law against that?

So what is wrong with a company using different names to do business under? Is there a law against that?

Yes, there is.

State law dictates that most types of businesses file with the Register of Deeds in the county where they will operate. The document that files or puts on record a business name of an individual, partnership, or corporation other than its own name is referred to as Doing Business As, DBA, or Assumed Name.

NC General Statute § 66-68 requires that "before any person or partnership engages in business in any county in this State under an assumed name or under any designation, name or style other than the real name of the owner or owners thereof, before any limited partnership engaged in business in any county in this State other than under the name set out in the Certificate filed with the Office of the Secretary of State or before a corporation engages in business in any county other than under its corporate name, such person, partnership, limited partnership, or corporation must file in the office of the register of deeds of such county a certificate...".

I'm obviously not Greg - so I can't speak to the amount of research he's done, on or off-line about this issues. I do know that he doesn't post pieces like this on a whim


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Thank you, voice of reason

I'm finding all this hostility toward Greg extremely annoying and have bitten my tongue a dozen times over the past two days. I applaud both you and him for your remarkable restraint and generosity in dealing with the various commenters.

The State Auditor's Office

even in control of Les Merritt, tends to be more up to date than the Secretary of State's. My organization has filed paperwork changes a number of times with the SOS office and the info is still incorrect at their office.

And for what it's worth - I somehow strongly doubt that gregflynn is a friend of Les Merritt's. Though anything is possible, I suppose. Suggesting it on this particular website seems very close to an ad hominem attack. It's not effective at all.


Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

SOS

Perhaps you have forgotten my post Merrittocracy: The New Red Tape where you yourself wrote:

Thanks Greg for great writeup. The more writing on this the better.

My reference to Les Merritt was snark.

I'm fairly familiar with SOS. I have also searched UCC filings. I am also aware that Owen G Dunn has current registration at SOS for Owen Andrews and Ed Turlington as lobbyists. I maintain my original position, that the paper trail for the entity "Printelect" is lacking.

I went to the SOS site again, shows the records and due dates

I went to the site again where it lists "Previous Annual Report Submissions:"

The page has several columns, listing the date of the report and the date the report is due. It shows that reports due for "2008" have been "accepted".

This is what it shows reported for "Owen G Dunn: and the due dates:

Previous Annual Report Submissions:
Date Filed Accepted Document Document Id Year Due

10/4/2004 Yes Annual Report 2004 278 02215 2006
12/5/2005 Yes Annual Report 2005 339 02010 2007
5/22/2006 Yes Annual Report 2006 142 02073 2008
6/4/2007 No Annual Report 2007 155 01890 Pending

Now I am not a corporate law attorney, or any sort of attorney, but my first trek in investigating this mystery would be to contact the organization responsible for keeping the records, which is the SOS site.

As far as going to Les Merritt, I would only contact him as a last resort. Merritt showed that he did not know what the hell he was doing when he tried to screw with our voter rolls. (See "Why doesn't Republican State Auditor Les Merritt want people to vote? )

The SOS website says that their Corporate Division is responsible for these records

Corporations Division

Mailing Address:
PO Box 29622
Raleigh, NC 27626-0622
Physical Address:
2 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2903
Telephone: 919-807-2225
Fax: 919-807-2039

Corporations Director : Cheri L. Myers

The Corporations Division is responsible for the examination, custody and maintenance of the legal documents filed by more than 400,000 corporations, limited partnerships and limited liability companies. The duty of the Secretary of State is to ensure uniform compliance with the statutes governing the creation of these entities, record the information required to be kept as a public record, and provide that information to the public. The Corporations Division acts in an administrative capacity only and cannot give legal advice.

And I was there before

The "due dates" on that particular table are incorrect. They are sequential like the initial rows in a spreadsheet. They date does not properly correlate to the actual report listed when intermediate documents have been filed, bumping the fields down.

The document filed in 2007 should have been for the fiscal year ending 12/31/2006. Examining the document, which is listed under the heading of "Accepted" as "No", we can see that it is actually for the fiscal year ending 12/31/2005 which should have been filed last year.

let us know what the SOS advises

Otherwise, this is a waste of time.

This is something that should be verified before stating it as fact.

Then, if a crime has been committed, then do something.

SOS advises

See below, they advise filing an annual report for a fiscal year by March 15th of the following year.

Most of your comments refer to a filings by the Owen G Dunn Company that Printelect claims to have superseded.

If Printelect is simply an assumed name and not a corporate entity there should be a filing with the county Register of Deeds.

All of this could be taken care of with a day's worth of paperwork. There is no assertion of any crime or any unsubstantiated fact on my part. I take this extremely seriously. The integrity of the voting process is extremely important.

Greg - have you checked with the county ROD?

Have you checked to see if there is a listing for Printelect with the county ROD?

if yes, what did you find out?

If no, please tell us know you haven't done so, and let us know what you do find out when you check

Have you read my post?

..or just what people say about it?

Cumberland, Craven, Wake: 0

splitting hairs

Sorry, misunderstood what "lacks paper trail" meant.

I thought that "lack" meant there was no paper trail.

I.e has no paper trail.

So "lacks paper trail" means something else.

Due Dates

When is my annual report due?
Business Corporations
Annual reports for business corporations are due by the 15th day of the third month after the close of the corporation’s fiscal year. Thus, for corporations with a fiscal year ending December 31st, annual reports are due March 15th.

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