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Md. files claim to recover voting machine expenses (Balto Sun) {$8.5 M} [View All]

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-26-08 03:53 PM
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Md. files claim to recover voting machine expenses (Balto Sun) {$8.5 M}
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Edited on Fri Dec-26-08 03:56 PM by eppur_se_muova
By Laura Smitherman |
December 25, 2008
After years of problems with the state's touch-screen voting system, Maryland has filed a claim to recover $8.5 million from the maker of the machines, Premier Election Solutions, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced yesterday.

The claim seeks costs the state incurred to correct security gaps in the voting system that were uncovered several years ago by independent investigations. The state has paid $90 million under a contract with Premier, formerly known as Diebold, since 2001. During that time, the two parties have had a sometimes-rocky relationship as hitches in the voting system surfaced.

"Under basic contract law, this is money that should be paid by Diebold or its successor and not by the taxpayers," Gansler said in an interview. "This is sort of the final chapter of the touch-screen machines that we've had issues with in Maryland since we've gotten them."

Last year, Gov. Martin O'Malley and the General Assembly decided to eventually dump the touch-screen equipment and instead move toward buying new optical-scan machines, which read paper ballots filled in by voters with pencil or pen and allow for a manual recount. The new system is expected to cost about $20 million.
The claim now goes before a state procurement officer, whose decision on the matter could then be petitioned to the Maryland State Board of Contract Appeals. Until the dispute is settled, the state is withholding payment on $4 million in bills for services Premier provided for the 2008 elections.


ON EDIT: Press release from the MD AG at
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