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Source: BLT, The Blog of Legal Times
Judge to Consider
Blocking Merger of Two Voting Machine Makers
September 28, 2009
Tomorrow morning, a New Jersey federal judge will hold a hearing to
decide whether to block the merger of the nation's two largest vote
Jonathan Rubin, a Washington-based Patton Boggs partner who represents
Hart InterCivic Inc., a smaller voting-machine maker, has asked Judge
Robert Kugler of the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey to issue a temporary restraining order, alleging that the
merger of the voting division of Ohio-based Diebold and Election
Systems & Software poses a "threat of irreparable harm"
The combination of the two voting-machine giants would give ES&S
control of election systems used in nearly 70 percent of the country's
Rubin said that jurisdictions across the country, which select voting
machines based on competitive bids, would have little choice but to
use the systems offered by ES&S if the acquisition goes
"As our economist says, we're not talking about shampoo. These
companies are in the business of something that is essential to the
function of democracy," Rubin said.
Rubin said his client is seeking to have ES&S divest Diebold
Inc.'s Premier Election Solutions, the company's voting division, but
would also accept having the judge order ES&S to keep Premier
Election Solutions as a separate, standalone company.
The merger has also drawn the attention of Sen. Charles Schumer
(D-N.Y.), who has asked the Justice Department to review the
A spokesman for ES&S did not immediately respond to requests for
Posted by Jeff Jeffrey on September 28, 2009 at 04:13 PM
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