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County Bonds $2M for Voting Systems while Justice Dept Investigates ES&S Merger

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Message Allegra Dengler
Westchester County New York Update:

On Monday March 1, 2010, the Westchester County Board of Legislators passed a Bond authorizing purchase of electronic scanner voting machines and related equipment. The amount of the bond was $2,002,000.

Of note: the "period of probable usefulness of said objects five (5) years."

Neither of the Westchester County Election Commissioners has signed on to the Nassau County lawsuit to keep levers.

The county will be purchasing 1,000 voting machines with a gross cost of $7,450,000 and a County share of approximately $391,000. The balance of the cost will be paid for from HAVA funds. In Addition, 2,000 privacy booths are being requested with a gross cost of $500,000 and a county share of approximately $375,000, the balance of which will be paid from HAVA funds. Also included are equipment and initial supplies in the amount of approximately $961,000.

Funding was requested for the purchase of EMS, three servers, operating systems, network equipment, workstations, peripherals and installation serves that will be needed for the BOE to prepare ballot marking devices for use in the 2010 elections. The EMS Enterprise System (hardware and software) is required in order for the [BOE] Voting Machine Technicians to program the new optical scanners.


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)

ABC News. Is a Voting Machine Merger Too Big to Stand?

"...competing voting machine firm Hart InterCivic Inc. has sued ES&S, alleging that the company will now supply voting machines in 68.2 percent of the nation's voting precincts. The New York State Board of Elections urged the Justice Department and the New York attorney general to intervene in the lawsuit challenging the acquisition....Another competitor is in court alleging violation of procurement laws in the award of a $50 million contract to ES&S in recent weeks by New York City's elections board. And elections board commissioners are cooperating with a probe of that contract by the U.S. attorney's office, the board's spokeswoman, Valerie Vazquez, said this week.....

"Election failure on a large scale has the potential to destabilize the nation, so ES&S must divest some of its assets, reduce the scope of election jurisdictions subject to its software and take other steps to offset the increased threat to national security, a coalition of 19 election experts and groups including Common Cause said in a Feb. 12 letter to Justice's antitrust division."

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Allegra Dengler is a voting activist in New York State.

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