Just a month after acquiring election.com, IT consulting firm Accenture has won a contract with the Department of Defense (DoD) to establish trial Internet voting for overseas U.S. personnel for the 2004 elections. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Accenture will support the DoD’s Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) in the a Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE), which Congress has mandated as way to improve voting opportunities for Americans.
The SERVE program allows for absentee balloting for U.S. personnel using any Windows-based computer with an Internet connection.
To serve DoD clients and others in the government, Accenture launched a new business called eDemocracy Services that is focused on delivering services to election agencies around the world. eDemocracy Services will provide strategy and planning, program management, election systems management, voter registration systems development, and transformational outsourcing services and solutions.
“We created our elections practice in response to the market need that emerged following the 2000 elections, and we continue to see tremendous global business opportunities in the election industry,” said Steven J. Rohleder, group chief executive of Accenture’s Government operating group.”
Rohleder added, “Formalizing this practice as a business is consistent with our strategy to expand our services into key areas of government where we have the experience and capabilities to deliver high-value solutions that meet the needs of our clients.”
Previously a strategic alliance partner with Accenture, election.com has implemented its election systems management software in more than 170 U.S. counties and several U.S. states. Election.com also helped deliver the first legally binding public Internet elections in France specifically for French expatriates.
In the U.S., Accenture developed Florida’s Central Voter Database (CVD), which was used during the 2002 mid-term elections. The CVD serves as a repository of all State of Florida voter registration information and provides local county election officials with the information to determine a voter’s eligibility.
In the United Kingdom, Accenture plans on building building on election.com’s participation in election modernization pilots in May 2002 and 2003.
The pilots were part of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to make it easier and more convenient for citizens to engage with government. Key elements of the program included Internet, phone and public access kiosk voting; smart card deployment for voter authentication; and real-time, online voter registration rolls.