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State files lawsuit against voting software company



Published: Fri, June 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The suit is seeking in excess of $25,000 in compensatory damages.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- The Trumbull County commissioners and the board of elections have filed a lawsuit against a California company claiming breach of contract.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, names Diverse Integrated Systems Inc., of Modesto, Calif., as the defendant. The suit was assigned to Judge Andrew Logan. No hearing date was scheduled.

The suit is seeking in excess of $25,000 in compensatory damages.

Officials with DIS could not be reached. Don Baumer, company CEO, has said before that he did not provide service to the county because officials did not pay the $6,800 maintenance agreement.

In March, the board of elections decided not to pay the maintenance agreement. In the past two years, any problems that were encountered with the software programs were corrected by their own staff with no assistance from DIS, local officials have said.

The lawsuit further states that DIS failed to do the work they were paid to do.

Technical complications

The county hired the company last year to make the county's voter registration database link to the state's.

All counties must link up with the secretary of state's office to be in compliance with the Helping America Vote Act.

The company was paid $16,000 to provide that bridge service. According to the lawsuit, in October the bridge crashed and would not operate. DIS was unable to fix the problem, the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit further notes that DIS lost its certification and is still not certified to do business in Ohio.

Because of DIS's breach of contract, the county is now forced to seek bids and hire a certified voter registration vendor to install a bridge program and install a new county voter registration system program, the lawsuit says.

sinkovich@vindy.com




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