Former Diebold e-voting unit settles Ohio lawsuit

Premier Election Solutions will pay cash, equipment and discounts to settle suit over dropped votes in '08 primary

Premier Election Solutions has agreed to pay $470,000 to 47 Ohio counties in order to settle a lawsuit filed two years ago over problems with equipment in a 2008 election, according to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's office. The suit sought damages over dropped votes in the state's March primaries.

In addition to a one-time cash payment, the settlement calls for up to $2.4 million in free software licensing and free new voting machines (up to 15% of the machines each county now owns). Counties can also receive a 50% discount on maintenance fees if they want a continued maintenance contract from Premier and a 50% discount on optical scan voting machines if they decide to switch from touchscreen systems.

Each county now decides whether to participate in the settlement.

Premier, formerly a unit of Diebold Inc., was acquired by Election Systems & Software last year. ES&S later sold the primary assets to Dominion Voting as part of an antitrust agreement. Dominion was not part of the lawsuit.

Sharon Machlis is online managing editor at Computerworld. Her e-mail address is smachlis@computerworld.com. You can follow her on Twitter @sharon000, on Facebook or by subscribing to her RSS feeds:
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