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Elections Board Reaches Agreement with Vendor Over State Voter Registration System

December 26, 2007

Madison, WI – The State Elections Board today announced an agreement with Accenture LLP to end its involvement with Wisconsin’s Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS), leaving the system under State control with the ability to make it federally compliant.

“This is a positive outcome for Wisconsin’s voters and local election officials, who must depend on the SVRS for our February elections,” said Kevin Kennedy, legal counsel for Wisconsin’s new Government Accountability Board. “We will have full control over a functioning election administration system. We have also gained important experience that will serve us well in the future.”

In January, the Elections Board and Ethics Board will dissolve, and their staffs will merge to support the Government Accountability Board. Kennedy will direct the new agency.

Under the agreement – negotiated with Accenture, by Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys and Elections Board representatives – Accenture will:

• Complete a list of repairs to ensure the SVRS complies with federal law
• Provide the software source code and documentation to the State
• Waive $1.95 million in retainage payments held by the Elections Board
• Pay the Elections Board $4 million to resolve potential litigation

Elections Board staff and DOJ attorneys prepared documents to formalize the agreement, which was signed by Kennedy and Accenture representative Steve Shane.

“This is fiscally responsible for Wisconsin and does not waste public dollars on a protracted lawsuit,” Elections Board Chairman Robert Kasieta said. “The Board recovers a significant percentage of what it paid Accenture, and Wisconsin elections proceed in compliance with federal law.”