In Denial At Diebold
from the let's-try-that-again dept
The state of Maryland commissioned yet another study of supposedly “improved” Diebold electronic voting machines which just came out. The study absolutely trashes the quality of the machines and shows just how easy it is to break in and change votes, despite the mostly cosmetic changes Diebold made since the last such report. In fact, they give the company an “F” grade – though, they admit with some work, they could raise it to a weak “C” by March elections. Now, here’s the surprising part: both Diebold and election officials actually spun this as good news. The press release Diebold put out is positively scary in the way they rewrite the conclusions of the report. The one area that the report didn’t criticize Diebold for was that it did, in fact, count the votes accurately – which is a pretty minor accomplishment when you think about it. Diebold then focuses only on this part and says the study shows that the “election can be held successfully without any changes”. Notice the slippery language that twists the actual findings. The report clearly states that the elections are not safe without any changes, but Diebold just says they could be successful, leaving out the “if no one takes a few simple steps to hack in and change the results” part. Meanwhile, someone from the state of Maryland is also spinning the results, saying” “It is a validation that the system is ready to work in March.” Since when is getting an “F” grade and having the system completely trashed as being insecure considered a “validation”? This is worse than complaining that the study is no good – they’ve actually gone so far as to pretend the report says the complete opposite of what it does.
Comments on “In Denial At Diebold”
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“Karl Aro, director of Maryland’s legislative services department, told the television station he was pleased with the report from Raba.
“It is a validation that the system is ready to work in March,” he said.”
If there ever was a statement coming from a public official taking kickbacks or having the stentch of corruption in light of an official report that saying otherwise this would be it. Though I really doubt any public investigation would be forth coming.
Scary spin indeed – if I were a MD resident I’d be furious at both the findings and the low regard for my intelligence both Diebold and these elected officials apparently have.
Just the kind of ammo a losing candidate needs to challenge the results, no matter how lopsided.
Not on their side...but
I have to admit, in the report (http://techdirt.com/commentSubmit.pl?sid=20040130/0917250&pid=0), they do state in the Executive Summery:
“With all these near-term recommendations in place…” reference to the vulnerabilities, each having a suggested fix,
“..that the system will accurately render the election and is worthy of voter trust”
Granted it was given an “F”, and the system should have been tested far before this ever came to pass, the company could perceive this in a positive light.
…..or am I taking sides here… Oh no! Help! I saw their point! ACK!
OPPS! The Report site corrected..