PORT CLINTON The Ottawa County Board of Elections
yesterday joined a voting-machine company s lawsuit against
the Ohio Secretary of State, seeking approval for the touchscreen
system it plans to buy.
Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell has certified just one
vendor, Diebold Election Systems of North Canton, Ohio,
to sell touch-screen voting machines with printers. Ottawa
County uses optical-scan machines made by Election
Systems & Software of Omaha, which sued Mr. Blackwell s of-
fi ce May 3 in Franklin County Common Pleas Court over a directive
ordering county election boards to buy Diebold s touchscreen
machines or optical-scan equipment.
ES&S has said it is developing touch-screen machines that
would meet the state s requirement for a paper ballot backup system and objected to Mr. Blackwell s May 13 certifi cation
deadline as arbitrary. The Secretary of State has instructed
counties to choose a system vendor by Tuesday.