03 April 2006

Ohio Official Invested in Vote Machine Co

Houston Chronicle - April 3, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state's top elections official said Monday he accidentally invested in a company that makes voting machines.

Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor, said he discovered the shares for Diebold Inc. while preparing a required filing for the Ohio Ethics Commission.

"While I was unaware of this stock in my portfolio, its mere presence may be viewed as a conflict and is therefore not acceptable," he said in a letter included in his filing.

[...] The state negotiated a deal with Diebold last year for $2,700 per touch-screen machine. In a statement given in May as part of a lawsuit, Judith Grady, who oversees the secretary of state's compliance with the 2002 federal voting act, said Blackwell was not involved with price negotiations.

[...] Bob Paduchik, a spokesman for Attorney General Jim Petro, Blackwell's rival in the GOP primary, called for further investigation.

Democrats weren't buying Blackwell's explanation.


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