Diebold Accused Of Skirting Election Law Again…

from the what-are-they-hiding? dept

Diebold never seems to think the law applies to it. The maker of electronic voting machines, has a long history of questionable activity when it comes to those machines. After it was discovered that internal documents proved that the company knew about security flaws in their own software, they sued, claiming copyright infringement — basically confessing that the documents were legit. There were additional stories about Diebold illegally changing their software at the last minute, leaving default passwords, threatening extortionate prices to add a paper trail, and mostly hiding the fact that the main person who wrote most of the voting machine software had been jailed for fraud in the past. With all that in mind, you would think that (1) the company’s e-voting machines would deserve extra scrutiny and (2) the company would bend over backwards to assist in that scrutiny to prove their systems were fine. It appears that’s not the case. Over in North Carolina, where a new law says e-voting companies need to hand over their source code, Diebold somehow convinced a judge to exempt it from obeying that law. The EFF is now suing Diebold for evading the law in North Carolina. They may have a tough case, but it still should be scary for anyone still using electronic voting machines that this is still happening. It’s entirely possible that Diebold has a legitimate reason for getting the exemption — but it would seem like they should be pretty forthcoming in explaining just what that is.

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Comments on “Diebold Accused Of Skirting Election Law Again…”

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John says:

Re: What would ya do for the source code...

Not quite sure what you’re saying, but… the source code is just for the election officials to review, to make sure it’s sound. Considering it’s for an election, doesn’t it make sense to have someone inspect the source code to make sure the machine really does what it says it does?

hmmm says:

No Subject Given

lets see. the people in office now were elected with fraudulent voting machines. I wonder why these same elected officials are not helping to expose fraudulent voting machines.

Could it be that they like the results they get from them? I mean all those democrats that lost elections mysteriously surely must be conspiracy theorists. After all, there is no such thing as a real conspiracy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

“You lost. Get over it.”

You republicans would by crying a bloody river saying we liberal dogs had reached up and grabbed freedom from the hands of lady liberty herself if the tables had been turned.

After all, cherry picking intel on a country that was essentially terrorist free is far less evil and impeachable than, oh, I dont know, spraying all over an interns dress. Lieing in the oval office, sex, which is worse?

Anyway, I dont think people should get too upset. Nothing will happen, too many people are too busy living hand to mouth to bother entering the high-level intellectual game of politics and connecting the dots.

We may figure out all the little things that made up the Kennedy assasination, but nobody alive today, except babies, will probably learn what all happened these past few years. I’ve already resigned myself to that much.

Jason says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given (Schadenfreude)

You know as well as I do anonymous coward that if Kerry had won you’d be singing quite a different tune about this issue. Not that our representitive democracy has any validity anymore anyhow. Personally I am glad you republicans, having lost your way and having betrayed the tenants of your party, won again. Now I can watch with glee as your party of hypocrits implode from the pressure of your own unethical practices. I can watch your beloved President finally pay the price for his arrogance and narrow-mindedness as he goes from a leader who had unprecedented support after 911 to a lame duck with a self-destructing cabinet all of whom the American public finally realizes is a pack of wolves aloft in an ivory tower clouded by idealistic delusions and hamstrung by their own stubborness and shortsightedness. I shall enjoy watching as this President with a “mandate” from the people, a mandate he planned to take full advantage of, watches as his agenda withers and dies, as his power dwindles and his once loyal base and fellow party members flee from him in horror. I will watch as his legacy is reduced to the memory of a bloody war. A war that started as the noble liberation of a peoples from a WMD toting dictator and ended as one of the most infamous scams in modern history- A badly planned and executed deception resulting in the death of thousands of our soldiers and in the beggining of a civil war that will no doubt haunt us for decades. You won allright, but can the world, America and your beloved corporate lapdpog of a leader ever “get over it”. “Mandate”- pfft! I’ll be snickering over that one till ’08. Schadenfreude indeed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Subject Given (Schadenfreude)

There was a satire article over at BBSpot, “darkhorse candidate Diebold wins 30% of vote in pre-emptive Florida elections” or something like that, heh.

As a florida resident, wouldn’t surprise me at all. We don’t need diebold machines to blow an election — the cops around here do it for the politicians. I happened to be one of those whose voting location was at the end of a street blocked by a couple squad cars — train tracks were being repaired. On election day. Yeah. Voted anyway, suckers. Nice try, though. Walked my ass a block to the right of the roadblock, then about a mile down to vote, a mile back, and block again the road block, and then back to my car. I was about the only one though — lazy people.

Or maybe I was just board and liked walking through dangerous neighborhoods. One or the other.

Oh, and not to mention those guys that, last year, voted several times somehow out over by Titusville I think, before some of them got noticed. Probably no way to throw out all their votes, so you know that could’ve swayed the local-level votes.

Andrew Strasser (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given (Schadenfreude)

Hilarious… The whole thread. We lost because he took Alaska from us simple truth. If the people of Alaska would have realized that taking the oil out from under them was going to melt the icecaps down to a point even Senator. McCain will say on national television is unearthing things that are 8000 yrs. old. We as Democrates lost Alaska to fools gold. That’s what cost us our elections the last two times.

Dustin123467 says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

“You lost. Get over it”
You are right…we lost, The whole country lost. We lost because dipshits like you were duped into voting those criminal fucks into office.
It’s crazy to me that these ignorant knuckle draggers are more concerned about gay people getting married and bible study in school than they are about their perosnal and families quality of life.

The really sad part is that their elected leaders dont give a shit about their so-called values either. They just use those issues to get the red-neck inbreeder types to the voting booths on election day. Sure they throw you table scraps here and there, but what its really about is money for them and their corporate buddies.

Dustin123467 says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Subject Given

“like that crazy bitch will ever get elected. #1 no woman will be president. Not in 08, not for decades to come. #2 She is as crzy as batshit.”
this is a prime example of why the US is falling behind europe and the rest of the industrialized world. Plenty of other countries have had woman heads of state and are better off for having done so.
The current administration is doing a fantastic job of ensuring that our next president will be whoever the democrats offer up, regardless of gender.
In fact, if your too small-minded to accept a woman president, you best pack your bags before 2016 when we elect a negro into the white house…Barak Obama anyone?

Jason says:

No Subject Given

It’s true, democracy is dead. One side doesn’t care because it has no power and the other side, in power, doesn’t care (this time) because it won. This country needs a good, bloody revolt. The ruling class is conveniently wearing ties around there necks, it will be easy hang them from the privately owned infrastructure….Oh wait, my favorite show is on.. nevermind. Can you hand me a beer please.

Just one guy says:

... from the outside...

Sometimes experiencing in forums and blogs and letters to newspapers the political awareness of Americans really makes me wonder about the democracy level of the largest Western republic of the world.

For crying out loud: can’t you all see that this is not “We won. You lost. Get over with it?” This has nothing to do with the past elections. Democrats: you’ve lost the elections, trannsparently or not, they were lost. Period. This has to do with the next elections! Republicans, do you want to just win them, or to win them clearly and transparently?

Can’t you see that a clean, transparent voting system, one that leaves no doubt whatsoever about the outcome, is fundamental for a) the losers to get over with it and b) the winners to proudly boost about it? Frankly, if my football team wins the championship because it systematically pays the referees, I would not be particularly proud of that regardless of the fact that the winner is my team.

So can’t you see that fiddling with the voting mechanism, that hiding fundamental information about the internal working of the voting computers, etc., casts a big shadow on the whole system, and thus on the results of the next elections, and all the following ones, regardless of who wins?

A final thought about this: it is my impression that the level of internal doubt and distrust regarding the mechanisms of politics has increased in the last 10-15 years a lot. Democrats and Republicans have never been so angry and disappointed about the results of the elections as in the past years. Not to foretell bad luck, but reasonable doubts about the elections have always been the source for major upheavals and revolutions throughout the world, and we do not want the same to happen in the US, do we?

Again, and finally: do you, Republicans and Democrats, do you want to win clearly, or just to win?

Joyce McCloy (user link) says:

NC's ballot blues - reason for stiff voting mach l

here is a summary of NC’s voting problems, along with why we had them, and what we should do.

North Carolina’s ballot blues
By JOYCE MCCLOY News Observer 26 November 2004
WINSTON-SALEM We’ve got a problem:
“NC has the worst election problem in the country right now.” Computer scientist Dr. David L. Dill of Stanford University
“A Florida-style nightmare has unfolded in North Carolina in the days since Election Day, with thousands of votes missing and the outcome of two statewide races still up in the air.” AP Newswire, Nov 13
Our key decision-makers are ignoring the seriousness of the problem:
“Except for the lost votes in Carteret County, Gary Bartlett, executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, called the problems ‘easily remedied and lessons learned.'” AP Newswire, Nov 13
? ? ?
North Carolina’s election problems will not be that easily remedied. This year’s disaster shows that many election workers are in over their heads.
Problems with voting machines, central tabulators using outdated and secret software, registration confusion, poll worker training, provisional ballots and absentee ballots are not easily remedied.
Add to all this the lack of a voter-verified paper ballot and you have no disaster recovery plan.
This is the case with more than 40 counties using touchscreen or “dial a vote” machines. The security of their votes depends on the software, source code and hardware of the voting machines. Election workers’ ability, or lack thereof, to operate and troubleshoot the machines can affect the security of the votes as well.
Lost: 4,500 votes in Carteret County paper ballots verified by voters and retained by the election officials would have saved these votes.
Omitted: an entire precinct of 1,209 votes in Gaston County.
Missing: 12,000 more votes in Gaston County not reported. The election director hired a voting machine technician to upload the county vote totals and did not oversee the process.
Bamboozled: Guilford County bought vote-tabulating software that used outdated technology and with insufficient vote storage. As a result, Guilford County’s public vote totals for president were off by 22,000 votes.
More votes than cast: Craven County reported 11,283 more votes for president than cast, voting with the same software as in Guilford County.
The State Board of Elections has relied on the advice of voting machine salesmen and turned a deaf ear to the good advice and warnings of computer scientists.
Voting machine salesmen gain access to some election officials via a private organization called the Election Center. This organization’s mission is to educate and inform election officials, yet it admits to accepting money from voting-machine companies. The Election Center hosts conferences for election officials at which salesmen provide parties, prizes and even a dinner cruise on the Potomac. North Carolina’s director of elections, Gary Bartlett, sits on the board of directors of the center.
? ? ?
Continued computer breakdowns and miscounts prove the need for a voter-verified paper ballot. This is not a receipt but a paper printout of the ballot, to be verified by the voter and kept by the election officials in case of recount, audit or computer breakdown.
The State Board of Elections can do the right thing by consulting computer scientists to recommend real requirements for our voting systems. It should also allow sufficient time for a thorough review by outside experts, to ensure that North Carolina’s voting system is the most secure and trustworthy in America.
Joyce McCloy is coordinator of the N.C. Coalition for Verified Voting (ncvoter.net).

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