Why did Amy Searcy, Hamilton County Board of Elections director of elections, tell the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Washington Post that Hart InterCivic is not involved with operations or maintenance of their voting machines in Hamilton County -- when her signature is on a quote from Hart InterCivic for voting machine repairs? View the document as a PDF.

Through a public records request, the Free Press has obtained two invoices confirming that Hart InterCivic does, in fact, still maintain electronic election equipment in Hamilton County. Since the Free Press first broke the story of Hart InterCivic being owned by HIG Capital, a private equity firm founded by Bain alumni and closely tied to the Romney campaign, Searcy began a full frontal media counter offensive.

A look at these invoices reveals that the Hamilton County Board of Elections received two recent invoices from Hart InterCivic, one for $134,125.00 worth of ballots and one for $15,386.40 worth of maintenance services. Although Searcy previously claimed that "We own our equipment, we own the software, we have a bi-partisan team on staff that does all the pre-testing, all the diagnostic maintenance, ballot preparation and vote tabulation," the county's ballot printing is clearly still done by Hart InterCivic, as evidenced by the invoice produced by Searcy's office. View the document as a PDF.

More importantly, the documents include an invoice for the replacement of hardware, including motherboards and memory. The affected machines include three JBC electronic ballot box machines, two of which had motherboards replaced. The work was performed in late August and was billed on August 31.

These motherboards contain on-board memory and programing instructions which could be used to tamper with votes on Election Day. The replacement of motherboards on JBC models is especially troubling as malicious firmware could tamper with the results of an entire precinct.

The mainstream media did not report on Searcy's ties to the Tea Party in their parroting of Searcy's statements without corroborating evidence. Media sources also failed to note that Ms. Searcy is Vice-Chair of the Hamilton County Republican Party.

The Free Press will continue to examine this issue as more records are forthcoming. We will report on this and any other seeming electronic election fraud before, during and after this election.

Gerry Bello is the chief researcher at the Columbus Free Press. He holds a degree in computer security from Antioch College. Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of the Free Press. He holds Ph.D. in Political Science and a J.D. from the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University.