ContractsProf Blog

Editor: Myanna Dellinger
University of South Dakota School of Law

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ohio Sues E-Voting Machine Company for Breach of Contract

Diebold_presOhio has waged a countersuit against e-voting machine maker Diebold (now known as Premier Election Solutions), seeking damages caused by malfunctioning machines in the swing state's 2004 and 2006 elections. The Diebold machines are infamous for losing hundreds of votes in the 2004 presidential election, and exhibiting "severe security flaws."

Premier had sued Ohio for a declaratory judgment that it met its contractual obligations. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has counterclaimed for, among other things, breach of contract and breach of warranty.

What will Ohio do in November? According to Ars Technica:

Brunner has advocated reverting to a system of optically-scanned paper ballots, the solution endorsed in the 2006 study, though it would not be feasible to make the switch before November's elections at this point. Still, she says, Ohioans "should not be alarmed" as they head to the polls in the fall, pledging that officials will work to catch and correct any problems that arise.

Gee, wouldn't Bush v. Gore have been more interesting if fashioned as a breach of contract action by the State of Florida against the maker of the machines that punched those hanging, dimpled and pregnant chads?

[Meredith R. Miller]

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