Elections Chief May Bar Voting Machine Provider From California

Secretary of State Debra Bowen is considering asking a judge to bar a voting machine provider from working in California.

Bowen could ask the judge to prohibit Election Systems & Software Incorporated from working in the state for up to three years.

She could also seek $15 million in damages and compensation.

The sanctions would punish the Nebraska-based company for allegedly selling five counties uncertified machines used by disabled voters.

Company officials tell a secretary of state's hearing panel today that they did nothing wrong by selling nearly 1,000 voting machines last year to Colusa, Marin, Merced, San Francisco and Solano counties.

County officials say they need the machines for next year's elections.

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