PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The state of Rhode Island is getting credited a portion of its payment to a voting software company after the firm’s machines displayed the wrong candidates on a small number of machines during early voting this year.

Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea announced Thursday that her office had reached a settlement with Elections Systems and Software, saying the state’s voting machine vendor would credit $47,644 to Rhode Island for its project management services.

Earlier this year, the state signed a five-year, $3 million contract with the company for election equipment, including voting machines and ballot readers.

“I am pleased with the resolution that we have reached with ES&S in this matter,” Gorbea said in a statement. “We have held our vendor accountable for their mistake, and working together we have succeeded in making systemic improvements to pre-election testing across my office, the Board of Elections and ES&S.”

Target 12 first reported in September that the company’s new touch-screen ballot machines had displayed the names of some 2018 candidates on Spanish-language ballots during early voting. The issue sent election officials scrambling to try and correct the mistake and they implemented new protocols to try and catch future mistakes.

Election officials said 55 voters used the so-called “ExpressVote” machine in the affected cities before the issue was identified. It wasn’t known how many of those 55 voters selected Spanish as their language.

In addition to crediting the state some costs, Election Systems and Software agreed to post a public statement on its website detailing best practices.

“As the 2022 election year ends, ES&S reflects on ways in which we can continue to deliver on our mission of enhancing the election experience,” company officials wrote on their website. “This includes committing to the customers we support and the voters they serve to review our collective processes, best practices and operating procedures and look for ways we can improve the security and integrity of the democratic process.”

Gregg Amore, who will replace Gorbea as secretary of state next week, told Target 12 on Thursday that he wasn’t directly involved in discussions but said he was updated throughout the process. He called the settlement “appropriate.”

“I think the overall relationship with ES&S has been a positive one,” Amore said.

He said that after the issue was identified, the company quickly admitted its mistake and the machines performed well after that. Amore also previewed his plans for next year.

“We will present legislation to update the statute to make sure that logic and accuracy testing is done in a way that stops something like this from happening again,” he said.

In a statement, R.I. Board of Elections spokesperson Christopher Hunter said the board “is pleased to see that a resolution has been reached in this matter.”

A copy of the settlement wasn’t immediately made available.

Eli Sherman ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Tolly Taylor ( is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook