California Secretary of State Bill Jones is investigating whether a state employee in charge of evaluating voting machines in California improperly took a job with a voting machine manufacturer. After two years as state director of voting systems, Louis Dedier left the job this month for the company Election Systems and Software.
State law bars former state employees from influencing influencing state decisions while they have an agreement with a prospective employer. The Secretary of State´s office is currently reviewing new voting technology such as touch screen and optical scan systems. A measure approved by California voters earlier this year provides 200 million dollars to upgrade voting systems. Nine California counties are under court order to end reliance on Florida-style punch-card ballots by 2004.