Wednesday, September 23


Washington Times - The pending merger of two of the nation's largest voting machine companies has triggered alarm bells, legal action and a federal inquiry over concerns that the deal could adversely effect how the country votes. Election Systems & Software Inc of Omaha, Neb., - the country's largest voting-machine manufacturer - announced plans to purchase Premier Election Solutions Inc, the voting machine division of Diebold Inc. of Ohio, giving one company an almost 70 percent share of the nation's voting machine market. Critics of the deal worry that it could harm the integrity of U.S. elections by giving one company too much control over the nation's voting system, thus increasing the chances of fraud.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer last week asked the Justice Department's antitrust division to review the deal, saying that he was "deeply concerned that local governments and taxpayers will not be getting a fair deal because too much market power will be held in too few hands.". . .

Austin, Texas, voting machine company Hart InterCivic Inc. has filed a lawsuit to halt the merger of its two biggest rivals, saying that the deal violates antitrust laws by creating an unlawful monopoly that could undermine the integrity of U.S. elections. . "Unless restrained and unwound, this merger would give this newly formed vote counting company excessive market power over something as vital to the American people as the right to vote," said antitrust lawyer Jonathan Rubin of the Washington firm Patton Boggs, which is representing Hart.