County election boards win lawsuit over electronic voting machines

4 area counties are part of lawsuit on voting machines.

Nearly half of Ohio’s counties — including Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Darke and Butler — use the machines and are eligible to benefit from the settlement with Premier Election Solutions announced Wednesday, Aug. 11, by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

Premier Election Solutions purchased the Diebold voting machine business and was subsequently purchased by Election Systems and Software of Nebraska, which is participating in the settlement.

Diebold originally sued Brunner and Cuyahoga County in 2008 after that county shelved the machines. Brunner counter sued Franklin County Common Pleas Court because of serious problems found with the voting machines.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections last month reached its own settlement of the lawsuit but could be eligible for additional money under Brunner’s settlement, said her spokesman, Kevin Kidder.

Tracy Smith, Greene County board director, said that board likely will approve it today, Aug. 12.

Steve Quillen, director of the Miami County board, said the settlement will be considered this month.

Under the settlement:

• $470,424 in one-time payments will be shared by the 47 counties using Premier voting equipment;

• Counties will get up to $2.4 million worth of free software licensing for two years, free voting machines, a 50 percent discount on new generation optical scan equipment and the right to use other vendors for services.

“I am pleased that our efforts to work with Premier have resulted in an equitable settlement that will benefit our county boards and ultimately the state’s voters and taxpayers,” Brunner said.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-7455 or lhulsey

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