By Brad Friedman from St. Louis, MO...
ED NOTE: Story now updated with additional information and statement from Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
"ES&S sold nearly 1,000 voting machines in California without telling the counties that bought them that they had never been certified for use in this state," CA Secretary of State Debra Bowen announced in a statement released moments ago. (Complete statement now posted at end of article).
"Given that each machine costs about $5,000, it appears ES&S has taken $5 million out of the pockets of several California counties, that were simply trying to follow the law and equip their polling places with certified voting machines."
"Not only did ES&S sell machines to California counties that weren’t state certified, it’s clear the machines weren’t even federally certified when the company delivered them to California,” Bowen continued in the no-holds-barred statement. "While ES&S may not like California law, I expect the company to follow the law and not trample over it by selling uncertified voting equipment in this state."
She went on to add that she intends "to go after the company for the full $9.72 million in penalties allowable by law, along with the original $5 million the company took from counties’ pockets."
She ain't kidding! ES&S, the country's largest distributor of voting machines, looks to be in a lot of trouble in California.
Earlier we reported that a public notice from the CA Secretary of State's office was posted this morning by Thad Hall of CalTech announcing that the company "has violated" CA Elections Code by modifying "hundreds of units of a version of the AutoMARK ballot marking device" without certification or permission of the Secretary of State...