Sequoia Voting Systems and Smartmatic combine to form a global leader

OAKLAND , CA , March 9, 2005 - One of the nation's largest election service and technology providers, Sequoia Voting Systems today announced its combination with Smartmatic, a Boca Raton, Florida-based leader in highly-secure electronic voting solutions. As part of the new entity, Sequoia Voting Systems will continue to operate under its current name in all markets.

"With the combination of Sequoia and Smartmatic, both proven innovators with accomplished track records in either the U.S. or abroad, we are creating the first truly global leader in providing voter-verified electronic voting solutions," said Jack Blaine, President, Smartmatic.

The Sequoia-Smartmatic combination will benefit from an extensive US customer base, unequalled US election management expertise, unique engineering depth, an expertise in ultra-secure device and software platforms, and a strong presence in the international election and equipment services arena. Specifically, in 2004 alone, Smartmatic delivered multiple countrywide turn-key voting solutions in Latin America, and based on discussions with officials in Latin America, Europe and Asia, Smartmatic anticipates additional growth in the international market in 2005.

"At Sequoia, we are especially pleased to join forces with Smartmatic, a true innovator when it comes to delivering the flexible, secure, verifiable voting solutions the current world demands. Together, Sequoia and Smartmatic will be able to enhance our full range of voting solutions and services to better serve both established democracies and the many new ones being born today," said Tracey Graham, President, Sequoia.

During the 2004 election, Sequoia received widespread acclaim for its successful use of an electronic voting system in the State of Nevada, the first such election in U.S. history featuring a voter-verified paper trail.

In 2004, Smartmatic's electronic voting solution successfully recorded a total of nearly 16 million votes in Latin America - including the first national election ever handled by an electronic voting solution with a voter-verified paper trail.

Full Range of Election Solutions and Services
In addition to its pioneering work in electronic voting, Sequoia is a national leader in offering a full range of election products and services, including the industry's fastest absentee ballot counting system, precinct-based optical scan ballot readers, ballot printing for some of the largest U.S. voting jurisdictions, and a full suite of voter registration and election management technology. Sequoia is also the only company to offer a federally-qualified voter-verifiable printer upgrade.

In addition to its development of the industry's most comprehensive security measures, Smartmatic also provides end-to-end voting solutions, offering logistical and operational service and support ideal for emerging democracies with less developed infrastructures.

About the Sequoia-Smartmatic Combination
Sequoia was previously held by U.K.-based De La Rue, PLC. De La Rue has decided to exit the voting system market to focus on its core competencies in producing bank notes, travelers' checks and cash handling equipment. Eureka Capital Markets, LLC served as De La Rue's exclusive financial advisor on the transaction. Smartmatic, a privately-held firm, acquired Sequoia in order to form a new global leader in providing a full range of electronic voting and election services solutions.

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.