The world's largest corporate e-voting supplier is about to become even larger. Today, TX-based Premier Election Solutions, the beleaguered and oft-failed voting division of OH-based parent company Diebold, Inc., announced they have been purchased by oft-failed e-voting goliath Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S). The move, if allowed to stand, would "consolidate most U.S. voting under one privately held manufacturer," according to one election watchdog who has announced plans to file an anti-trust complaint concerning the sale with the Department of Justice.
Diebold, facing lost money, lost reputation, lost votes and multiple legal battles, has been trying to unload its election division for several years. Having failed at first, the company created an "independent" entity, Premier --- same pig, damned near same lipstick --- in hopes of regaining money and reputation, if not votes. That failed too.
But somehow, as reported today, Diebold was able to convince Nebraska-based ES&S, the nation's largest election company and supplier of 100% unverifiable voting systems, to agree to the purchase.
Diebold says it purchased the election division from Global Election Systems, Inc., for $31 million in 2002. Today, Diebold announced it will sell to ES&S for just $5 million, plus 70% of any cash from outstanding accounts receivable as of August 31.
Unless they've made special arrangements already with Diebold, the people at ES&S --- no stranger to lost votes themselves --- may quickly be saddled with a fair amount of liability from the storied past and continuing failures of Diebold products across the country.
That is, if the acquisition, which is sure to quash any such "competition" in the market which might still exist, is allowed to stand in the first place...