Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 27, 2013

Falls firm hired by county board of elections donates to candidates, parties


Niagara Gazette — “We are involved in the election process only in that we provide the tools,” Dewald said. “We have no hands on in the process.” 

Casemento and Democratic Elections Commissioner Nancy Smith agreed, saying the company has “nothing” to do with tallying vote totals on election nights or the operation of voting machines. 

Smith and Casemento said the elections board uses NTS software for its voter management system, which keeps track of registered voters and absentees. Both commissioners said the company also provides guidance on the use of its software systems as well as maintenance and repair as needed. 

“The process is under our control so there is integrity in the process,” Smith said. “It’s not under anyone else’s control.”

There’s nothing inappropriate about the company’s donations, according to John Conklin, a spokesperson with the New York State Board of Elections. Conklin said there are no provisions under state election law that would prohibit NTS or any other company offering similar services from donating funds to individual candidates or campaign committees. He said the transparency of the state’s filing disclosure system works to show the public who gave what to whom, including in this case.

Dewald notes that his company is exercising its right to donate funds to candidates and political parties of its choice. He also notes that all of his firm’s donations have been made under guidelines set forth by state and local election laws. 

In other words, he insists, his firm is following the rules.  

“Don’t I have a right running a company to be able to make a donation to any candidate I want to without doing anything illegal?” he added. “I think I do.”

COMING MONDAY Politicians weigh in on firm hired by county board of elections

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