Monday, December 13, 2004

Touchscreen voting supplier experiencing organizational turmoil

By Jay Goetting, Napa Valley Register, December 6, 2004


The company that manufactures the touchscreen voting devices, as well as other elections equipment, used in Napa County is experiencing some organizational turmoil.

Sequoia Voting Systems' parent firm, British-based De La Rue, has indicated it may sell or close Sequoia's operations. Sequoia's headquarters is in Oakland.

Tuteur said he heard last week that there could be a restructuring of Sequoia's management and that the firm that supplies Napa County is for sale.

"I don't expect any change for us," he said, although he said he will be watching with interest as events unfold.

A report in The Times of London said the action taken is "to the relief of many." De La Rue also said it will cut 350 jobs. The moves follow the closure of a major De La Rue plant in Surrey, England last year.

Sequoia has been part of De La Rue since 2001, when the Hampshire, UK business bought 85 percent of the company. The remaining 15 percent was retained by a firm known as Smurfit.

De La Rue is a multi-national firm that prints currency for a number of countries and is a leader in tamperproof technology. Among its products are American Express travelers' checks. De La Rue invented the secure cash-counting mechanisms used in automated teller machines.

The bottom line in the London Times business report regarding De La Rue stock: "Sell."

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