JAMESTOWN, N.Y.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Dominion Voting Systems, Inc. today announced that it has acquired from Premier Election Solutions, Inc. (Premier), a wholly owned subsidiary of Election Systems and Software (ES&S), the primary assets of Premier, including all intellectual property, software, firmware and hardware for Premier’s current and legacy optical scan, central scan, and touch screen voting systems, and all versions of the GEMS election management system.
“We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which will restore much-needed competition to the American voting systems market and will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States”
As part of the transaction, Dominion also acquired an irrevocable, perpetual license for the AutoMark voting terminals used by voters with disabilities, a similar license for the VoteRemote absentee vote-by-mail processing solution, and rights to spare parts, supplies and other resources necessary to support and service these installed systems. In addition, Dominion will acquire a percentage of existing Premier inventory.
Under terms of the agreement, which was approved by the U. S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and nine state attorneys general, Dominion has secured the right to hire current and former Premier employees and to enter into agreements with Premier dealers experienced in deploying and supporting these systems. In addition, the transaction requires that current Premier customers be provided with the opportunity to assign their existing contracts to Dominion without penalty. As part of the transaction, Dominion granted license rights back to Premier, subject to certain restrictions. The transaction also provides limitations on the ability of ES&S to continue to sell the Premier equipment going forward. Premier voting systems are currently in use in over 1,400 jurisdictions in 33 states and serve nearly 28 million American voters.
“We are extremely pleased to conclude this transaction, which will restore much-needed competition to the American voting systems market and will allow Dominion to expand its capabilities and operational footprint to every corner of the United States,” said John Poulos, CEO of Dominion. “As a result of this acquisition, election administrators and the voters they serve will benefit from more competitive pricing, greater innovation and enhanced customer service in the American voting systems market. We are already building a nationwide customer service infrastructure to support Premier jurisdictions, enabling us to offer the expertise and product knowledge required to support these systems going forward. We will also leverage our unequaled engineering resources to continue to enhance and improve the Premier suite of products, with a particular focus on system transparency, accountability and security. Dominion’s culture of transparency and engagement with all stakeholders in the elections process, including permitting public review of system source code, will be extended to the Premier product line. Today, Premier jurisdictions have an innovative, agile and engineering-driven new alternative as their solutions partner, and we are excited to get started serving their needs,” Poulos added.
Included in the acquisition are Premier’s legacy products as well as Premier’s new ASSURE 1.2 solution suite which includes hardware, software and firmware with enhanced functionality and strengthened security and auditability features. In 2009 ASSURE 1.2 products obtained federal certification by the Election Assistance Commission under a new, and highly demanding, federal testing program.
On March 8, 2010 the U. S. Department of Justice, along with nine state attorneys general, filed an antitrust lawsuit in U. S. District Court in Washington, D.C. alleging that ES&S’ 2009 acquisition of Premier harmed competition. At the same time, the DOJ filed a proposed settlement with ES&S that required the divestiture of the Premier assets to a purchaser approved by the Department. Negotiations subsequently took place between ES&S and Dominion to execute a transaction in accordance with the DOJ’s proposed settlement, and the Department has reviewed and approved all aspects of the purchase agreement.
About Dominion Voting Systems: Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with offices in New York, Colorado and California, Dominion Voting Systems provides comprehensive voting solutions that emphasize security, accessibility and transparency at every step of the elections process. Dominion’s solutions are currently in use by over 400 jurisdictions in the U. S. and Canada, including 52 counties in the State of New York. Some 90,000 Dominion ImageCast Precinct Optical Scan Tabulators have been successfully deployed in elections around the world. For information visit: www.dominionvoting.com.