US Senate Rules Committee to Review Sale of Premier to ES&S October 9, 2009 - "U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), the Chairman of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee and a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, raised new concerns Friday over Dieboldâ€™s proposed sale of its voting machine business to its biggest competitor, and announced that his Rules Committee staff would begin a formal review of potential problems posed by the merger. Schumer announced he would be seeking input from state and local election officials to investigate the dealâ€™s impacts on the administration of elections across the United States. The findings will be compiled into a public report that could be shared with the Department of Justice."
(press release from Senator Schumer's office,
Diebold Sells US Voting Systems Business to ES&S September 3, 2009 -The maker of Maryland's voting system, Premier Election Solutions, has been sold by its parent company, Diebold, to its largest competitor, Election Systems & Software (ES&S). It is unclear how this sale will affect Maryland's purchase of a new optical scan voting system for the 2010 elections. The RFP deadline for bids is September 4, 2009, and ES&S & Premier were both expected to make bids. (wired.com/threatlevel/2009/09/diebold-sells)
Maryland Issues New RFP — But Not for Opticial Scan Voting System!
July 20, 2009 — The State Board of Elections issued a Request for Proposals July 20 for support services for the voting system. This contract would cover all support services for the voting system -- even though it is not yet clear exactly what the voting system will be, since the RFP for the op-scan system has not yet been released! This new contract would go into effect Jan 1, 2010, and bids are due by Aug. 28. The document says that the RFP for the optical scan voting system will be released as a separate solicitation, but does not say when that RFP will be released. Read more.
New Voting Report Supports Federal Election Reform
July 23, 2009 — US. Voter Action, NAACP National Voter Fund, and Advancement Project released a joint report today on voting rights concerns. Read more & Take Action
Md. General Assembly Preserves Funding for 2010 Switch to Verifiable Voting
April 2009 — In 2007 the Maryland General Assembly (GA) voted unanimously to switch to a reliable, accessible, verifiable voting system. Bills before the 2009 Assembly that threatened to delay implementation of the new paper-based optical scan/accessible ballot marking system were defeated through the efforts of supportive delegates and senators and activists like you. Thank to them, and your emails and testimonies, Maryland voters will have more secure elections next year. Congratulations to all on this major accomplishment!
Paper ballot voting will save Maryland and its counties millions (see the detailed cost study), due to the extravagant costs for maintaining the less reliable and impossible to verify touch-screen machines. The paper-based optical scan system is already used in 55% of the nation's counties. Just a few years ago, many jurisdictions in Maryland used paper-ballot optical scan voting with lower costs and greater reliability. We also support the state using a system that provides private and independent voting for disabled voters, alongside the paper ballot-based system.
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