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Merger of Crooked Vote Tallyers

Com­ment: With this impend­ing merg­er, it appears that ES & Sone of the com­pa­nies linked to vote tam­per­ing in recent U.S. elections–will be pur­chas­ing the mon­ey-los­ing unit of the bet­ter-known Diebold firm.

“US Vot­ing Machine Mak­ers’ Merg­er Nears Approval-WSJ[Wall Street Jour­nal]; reuters.com; 3/4/2010. [1]

But the depart­ment will require the com­bined com­pa­ny to divest a key elec­tron­ic vot­ing sys­tem, the Jour­nal said, cit­ing peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter.
Pri­vate­ly held Elec­tion Sys­tems & Soft­ware Inc in Sep­tem­ber agreed to buy No. 2 vot­ing-machine man­u­fac­tur­er Pre­mier Elec­tion Solu­tions Inc, a mon­ey-los­ing unit of Diebold Inc (DBD.N), the Jour­nal said.
Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Elec­tion Sys­tems & Soft­ware and Diebold could not be reached for imme­di­ate com­ment. A Jus­tice depart­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tive also was not imme­di­ate­ly avail­able for com­ment.
At a val­ue of $5 mil­lion, the deal was too small to trig­ger a fed­er­al antitrust review. It has gen­er­at­ed oppo­si­tion from elec­tion offi­cials and oth­ers con­cerned it would deprive vot­ing precincts of choice and leave the coun­try’s elec­tion sys­tem more vul­ner­a­ble to fail­ures.
After lengthy nego­ti­a­tions, the Jus­tice Depart­ment and Elec­tion Sys­tems & Soft­ware said they are near agree­ment on a set­tle­ment that would involve the com­pa­ny sell­ing Pre­mier’s newest vot­ing sys­tem, Assure 1.2 — to a com­peti­tor, most like­ly Hart Inter­Civic Inc, the Jour­nal said, cit­ing peo­ple famil­iar with the mat­ter.