Friday, February 01, 2008

And the Lawsuits Keep on Coming . . . .

As predicted by this blog, we've got another vendor suing the State Board of Elections. This time, its Premier (formerly known as Dieblold -- perhaps you've heard of them?).

Premier is not happy that the State Board seemed to authorize their machine for purchase and then essentially changed its mind. It's hard for us not to be sympathetic to Premier's position, because its hard for us not to view the Board's most recent "decision" as a tit-for-tat on the part of the Republican members of the Board as punishment for the Democrats' refusal to authorize the purchase of the Liberty DRE (which, as far as we can tell was for substantive reasons -- like the fact that this so-called "accessible machine" wasn't actually accessible to many disabled voters).

Who's being punished? The people of New York. There's now only one vendor in the game, which means that vendor has got a lot less motivation to add features requested by counties, or to negotiate contracts favorable to those counties. Why should it? When there's only one system to choose from, where else are county boards going to go? Perhaps the Republican Commissioners on the State Board haven't heard of the benefits of market competition.

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