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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Diebold—Who will love you now?

Posted by on November 30 at 14:57 PM

Diebold’s “Now you can Relax” mantra might come back to bite them in the ass… the company has decided to withdraw its electronic voting machines from N. Carolina rather than have them examined by state officials. On Monday, the AP reported that a judge refused to exempt Diebold from complying with state law and handing over secret software codes.

Diebold claims that the codes actually belong to Microsoft, whose software they employ. Thus, they are not Diebold’s to hand over.

A somewhat more plausible explanation is that Diebold’s machines have flaws they are attempting to hide. The machines are not new to criticism—In 2004, Diebold paid a 2.6 million dollar settlement to California after allegations that the company sold the state shoddy voting equipment.

Black Box Voting, a Renton-based consumer election/protection organization, was privately invited by Cal. Secretary of State Bruce McPherson to hack into a Diebold machine today, according to their website (which is intensely interesting). Unfortunately, the event has been postponed and/or canceled.

It’s pretty scary stuff, considering that Diebold currently has over 75,000 voting stations across the US, according to its website.