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Saturday, March 6, 2010

  • Government interferes in private market by passing regulations that discourage new entries into the industry.
  • Two private companies in this industry want to merge.
  • Government prevents merger due to lack of competition.
The above summary tells the tale of the voting machine industry since the 2000 presidential election. Like many economic problems, it all started with unwarranted government intervention in the private market.

The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department is attempting to undo a merger that occurred six months ago between the country's two largest voting machine companies. Since the new, merged company now operates machines in 70 percent of the nation's voting districts:
Critics say the merger could cause foul-ups at the polls on Election Day, and some even characterize it as a national security risk.
If a merger that occurred six months ago (more than one year before the mid-term elections) runs the risk of causing "foul-ups," then how would undoing a merger just nine months before mid-term elections reduce this risk? It doesn't.

Surprisingly, the AP prominently reported on the real cause behind the lack of competition in the industry:
The emergence of one megaplayer in the electronic voting machine industry may be an unintended consequence of reforms enacted after the presidential election debacle in Florida a decade ago. Few companies can afford to get into the business due to the expense of developing the electronic voting safeguards that reformers insisted on.
Instead of admitting their previous mistakes and introducing regulatory reforms, the government has decided to cause further damage to the voting machine industry by breaking up an economically viable business contract.

Posted by Eleutherian

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1 Responses to Government Intervention in Merger between Private Voting Machine Companies

  1. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.


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