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Scoop Link: State of Ohio sues Diebold

Ohio sues e-voting company, can't ditch faulty machines

By Julian Sanchez

The name may have changed, but the artist formerly known as Diebold—now Premier Election Solutions—is still catching heat over problems with its electronic voting machines. Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brenner is suing the firm, seeking unspecified damages for breach of contract and fraud. The suit blames faulty software for losing votes in 11 of the 44 counties that use Premier machines.

The company was already embroiled in a legal battle with Ohio's Cuyahoga county, one it filed preemptively in May after election officials there decided to mothball $22 million worth of Premier touch-screen machines. Premier had hoped to forestall any claims against it by seeking a declaratory judgment that it had met its obligations.

Premier's own analysis, taking a page from HAL-9000, points the finger at "human error," although it also blames a conflict with antivirus software for a glitch that caused several hundred votes to be dropped when they were first uploaded from memory cards to the county's servers. But the state says the company had certified the servers after the antivirus program was installed.

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