By KAREN VELIE
The ballot printer for the San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorders Office was suspended from doing business in California in 2017, but continued to print ballots putting six California counties at risk, according to the California Secretary of States Office.
In June 2017, the state suspended Integrated Voting Solutions for having almost $5,000 in unpaid taxes. As a result, Integrated Voting Solutions does not have the right to operate in California.
Even so, Integrated Voting Solutions remains on the list of approved vendors in California, according to the Secretary of State’s website.
In order to print ballots for public elections, state law requires companies to attain certification from the Secretary of State’s Office. In addition, the company is required to be listed on the state’s published list of certified ballot printers, which Integrated Voting Solutions was in Jan. 2018.
However, after the state discovered, through a newspaper article in Colorado, that Integrated Voting Solutions was suspended from doing business in California, they sent Integrated Voting Solutions a letter giving the company until July 13 to confirm its ability to do business in California.
“This publication raises concern for the SOS regarding IVS (Integrated Voting Solutions)’ viability to produce ballots for California elections,” Rodney Rodriguez, a voting systems annalist for the Secretary of State’s Office, wrote on July 2. “Our records indicate that IVS currently serves as the certified ballot printer for the counties of Mendocino, Siskiyou, San Luis Obispo, Marin, Fresno and Lassen. The possibility of IVS being unable to transact business in the state of California poses great concern and could potentially put these California counties at risk.”
While under fire for unpaid taxes, in 2016 the owner’s of Integrated Voting Solutions applied for a Delaware corporation under the name Integrated Voting Systems.
In response to the Secretary of State’s Letter, on July 5 the ballot printer responded to the state in a letter stating it is operating as Integrated Voter Systems doing business as Integrated Voter Solutions.
Last week, the Secretary of State’s Office added Integrated Voting Systems doing business as Integrated Voting Solutions to the state’s published list of certified ballot printers. The previous voter list included Integrated Voting Solutions and did not list Integrated Voting Systems as approved and certified by the state, according to the Secretary of State certified ballot printers lists for 2018.
“The business that is certified to print ballots in California is Integrated Voting Systems, Inc (Entity Number C3901951), however they do business as Integrated Voting Solutions, Inc in California,” wrote Secretary of State Press Secretary Sam Mahood in an email.
While state regulations do not permit the subcontracting of ballot printing from a certified company to a non-certified company, it is unclear what the rules are for companies doing business as a company that is not permitted to operate in California.
“The subcontractor shall be certified by the Secretary of State prior to performing any ballot printing,” according to California Code of Regulation 22027.
San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder Tommy Gong said he has used both Integrated Ballot Solutions and Integrated Ballot Systems to print county election ballots and plans to use Integrated Ballot Systems in the November election. Gong also plans to ask the vendor to clarify the issues at a conference in Southern California they are both attending this week.
“As I said yesterday, I will be attending an elections conference next week and the vendor will be attending, so I will attempt to find out more about the situation and make efforts to avoid these types of situations,” Gong said. “If anything changes, I will be in touch with you after next week.”
Integrated Voting Solutions is also under fire for delivering the wrong ballots to voters in Montrose County, Colorado. Because of the error, Montrose County elections officials hand-counted more than 10,000 ballots.
In addition, the company is delinquent in filing required paperwork with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.
Letter from the Secretary of State to Integrated Voter Systems doing business as Integrated Voter solutions: