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"SECURITY RISK" - Justice Dept. probes voting machine merger-By PETE YOST Associated Press [View All]

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kpete Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-04-10 11:45 AM
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"SECURITY RISK" - Justice Dept. probes voting machine merger-By PETE YOST Associated Press
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Edited on Thu Mar-04-10 11:46 AM by kpete

Is a Voting Machine Merger Too Big to Stand?

Justice Dept. probes voting machine merger
as midterm elections loom and questions multiply

By PETE YOST Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON March 4, 2010 (AP)

The largest voting machine company in the country bought its biggest competitor six months ago without advance fanfare. Now the Justice Department is investigating whether to unwind the merger that put a privately held Nebraska company in control of the voting machines in nearly 70 percent of the nation's precincts.

With midterm elections looming and a battle for control of Congress under way, a coalition of election officials from several states and voter advocate groups is pressing the Justice Department to unscramble the combination of two companies. Critics say the merger could cause foul-ups at the polls on Election Day, andsome even characterize it as a national security risk.

The emergence of one megaplayer in the electronic voting machine industry may be an unintended consequence of reforms enacted after the presidential election debacle in Florida a decade ago. Few companies can afford to get into the business due to the expense of developing the electronic voting safeguards that reformers insisted on.

Senate Rules Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has raised concerns about the purchase, in which Election Systems & Software Inc. of Omaha, Neb., bought the voting machine subsidiary of Diebold Inc. of North Canton, Ohio.

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