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Systems supports review of primary election process and procedures

Oakland, CA, March 29th, 2006.?
Sequoia Voting Systems supports the decision of the City of Chicago Board of Elections and Cook County to review all aspects of the March 21 election. The company anticipates that the results of these examinations will confirm that the equipment and support provided by Sequoia has met or exceeded the contractual and ethical obligations set forth by the City and County.

?We are continuing to work with the Cook County Clerk?s office and the City of Chicago Board of Elections to facilitate a smoother election process for the November general election by assisting in the assessment of the procedural and human factors surrounding the primary elections,? said Jack Blaine, president, Sequoia Voting Systems. ?In addition, we will also be making technical reviews of the system and stand ready to assist any independent technical reviews the City or County decides to undertake".

For over 100 years, California-based Sequoia Voting Systems has been a leader in providing election equipment and support to cities, counties and states across the country. The company?s equipment has been in use in hundreds of jurisdictions in 20 states.

The primary election in the City of Chicago and Cook County had unique challenges. Voters and election judges experienced early voting for the first time. New technology was employed that required strict procedures for data collection.

In addition, the use of two different types of voting machines presented additional data collection challenges. According to a recent public letter, Chicago Board of Elections Chairman Langdon D. Neal and Cook County Clerk David Orr concurred that ?This was not unexpected in that no election authority has ever merged and transmitted election results from two voting systems in the polling place".

Despite the delays, there was good news to report about the new system and the overall election experience.

According to statements made in recent press conferences by the Chicago Board of Elections, everyone who cast a vote in the primary election had their voted counted accurately. In general, voters liked the new system compared to the old punch cards. The process of voting was much easier and simpler and, the average voter experience was a good one. In addition, there was no evidence on any election fraud.

In the same public letter, Chairman Neal and County Clerk Orr declared that ?In fact, for most voters, election day was a fairly simple and trouble-free experience.?

Sequoia has direct responsibility for the technical performance of the voting equipment in Cook County and the City of Chicago. Company officials are confident the tabulation technology worked appropriately and will be making the necessary adjustments to ensure that the machines are more user-friendly for election judges.

?Whether it?s your office network, cell phone, iPod, or yes, even your voting device, there are going to be growing pains associated with the introduction of new technology,? said Blaine. ?We?re very confident that Sequoia, the Chicago Board of Elections and Cook County can work together to resolve the challenges that surfaced last week, and ensure that voting in Chicago and Cook County is easy, accurate, efficient and reported as quickly as possible".

About Smartmatic
Smartmatic is a multinational company that specializes in the design and end-to-end deployment of complex purpose-specific technology solutions. With an unsurpassed technology base, continuous innovation, and quality in processes and results, Smartmatic is organized around three business areas: Electronic voting systems, intelligent and integrated security systems for large enterprises and governments, and advanced solutions for people registration and authentication for a wide range of government applications.

Smartmatic is a privately held company with offices in the US, Mexico, Venezuela, Barbados, Spain, Philippines and Taiwan.  It has more than 200 employees worldwide.  Its capacity for innovation and wide range of products and services have earned Smartmatic extensive recognition in the technology community worldwide.

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About Sequoia Voting Systems
Sequoia Voting Systems is an American company, based in Oakland, California with a 100-year history of providing accurate, reliable, state-of-the-art voting solutions dating back to the nation's first lever-based mechanical voting equipment in the 1890s. Sequoia provides election technology, services and support to state and local government including precinct-based optical scan ballot readers, high-speed central count optical scan ballot readers, ballot layout and printing services, and full-face and paginating electronic voting equipment with optional printers that produce voter verifiable paper records. The company has hundreds of customers throughout 16 states and the District of Columbia.

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Michelle M. Shafer
VP, Communications & External Affairs