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City of Chicago to implement technology from Sequoia Voting Systems

Oakland, June 1, 2005.- The City of Chicago announced that it will offer voters the choice of casting either an optical scan paper ballot or an electronic ballot with a voter verifiable paper trail for elections beginning in 2006. One week ago, Cook County, Illinois selected the same technology from Sequoia Voting Systems for use by suburban Cook County voters.

''The Chicago Board of Elections, the Cook County Registrar of Voters and their staff spent years analyzing the best voting technology fit for their voters,'' said Sequoia President Tracey Graham. ''We are pleased that the City and the County have selected Sequoia as the provider of choice for both paper and verifiable electronic ballots.''

Chicago and suburban Cook County voters will be able to cast a paper ballot at the polls that is read by a Sequoia Insight ballot scanner which will instantly tabulate the ballots and warn voters if they have made errors in marking their selections. To meet the accessibility mandates of the Help America Vote Act, the City and County will also deploy the Sequoia AVC Edge touch screen with VeriVote printers that can be used by voters with and without disabilities to accurately and securely record their selections.

The City of Chicago serves approximately 1.4 million registered voters and the Cook County Clerk serves approximately 1.38 million registered voters. Combined, the region represents the second largest voting jurisdiction in the U.S.

The City and County are both replacing their punch card voting technology with new systems that will comply with the Help America Vote Act by providing voters with notification of errors, an opportunity to correct their ballot before it is cast and accessibility features to ensure that voters with disabilities can cast their ballot privately and independently.

In addition to the federal requirements, the State of Illinois also requires that electronic voting equipment provides a voter verifiable paper record for each voter's ballot. Sequoia pioneered the voter verification concept during the 2004 primary and general elections in the State of Nevada. During the presidential election, Nevada posted the lowest voter falloff rate in the country at .237%, which was just a fraction of the national average fall-off rate of 1.1%.

Both the City and County will use federal Help America Vote Act grant funding to purchase the voting system.