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Published: Saturday, 5/21/2005

Ottawa County sues Blackwell

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.

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