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Ohio official sues e-vote vendor for sloppy counting

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Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner wants an electronic voting machine vendor to pay for dropping hundreds of votes in the state's March primary election.

In a filing at Franklin County Common Pleas Court, Brunner seeks unspecified damages from Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold. She claims Premier made false representations of its equipment and failed to live up to its contractual obligations.

Votes from at least 11 counties in Ohio were lost in the recent election when memory cards were uploaded to computer servers that tally the votes.

Although the votes were later recovered and counted by election workers, Ortega argues that they could have easily been overlooked.

Premier pins the problem on an antivirus program that was loaded on the server. But Brunner claims the servers in Ohio were certified with the antivirus software installed.

Premier e-voting machines are used in half of Ohio's 88 counties.

In May, Premier sued the Brunner's office and the Cuyahoga Country Board of Elections seeking a ruling that it had satisfied the obligations of its state contract to provide the voting machines. County officials responded with a countersuit accusing the company of beach of contract, negligence and fraud. Brunner's office added their own counter-claim with today's lawsuit.

Last year Brunner commissioned a study that found e-voting machines in Ohio contain critical security failures that could jeopardize elections. But she assures voters the state will take steps to tally accurate results in the upcoming fall presidential vote. ®

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