Diebold Tries To Charge County For Showing Its Machines Have Serious Problems

from the them-again? dept

It was just two days ago that we wrote about the actions of Diebold and other electronic voting machine companies in Florida, where they're effectively boycotting an elections official who had the gall to have their machines tested in a way that shows they have serious security issues. That article noted that Diebold was negotiating to sell new machines to the county, but only on the condition that the elections officials not run more security tests -- other than "authorized" security tests (because, of course, those with malicious intent would only hack the machines in an "authorized" way). Turns out that Florida isn't the only county where Diebold is using such tactics... and it may have cost one election official in Utah his job. Phil Windley has the disturbing story, which has many similarities to the Florida story. The county ordered a bunch of Diebold machines and noticed a bunch of problems with the machines as they unpacked them. So, sensing a problem that should be investigated, the official had a couple machines security tested -- which turned up all sorts of additional security issues. Diebold's response? They told the county that the tests broke the warranty on the machines and demanded $40,000 to "recertify" the machines. This resulted in a meeting between the county official and state election officials -- and in the heat of the moment (with state officials apparently siding with Diebold), the county official announced his resignation. He now claims he didn't really want to resign, and is trying to retain his job -- but the state doesn't seem interested any more. In fact, it sounds like state officials are positively furious with the guy for daring to test the machines. Combined with the story in Florida and (of course) story after story after story of questions related to the security of Diebold's e-voting machines (and their responses to such questions), it certainly gives off the impression that Diebold is putting a lot of pressure on elections officials not to run security tests on their machines. Again, this makes no sense. A company that is building secure machines should be proud to have it tested -- and should be willing to respond to and fix any security tests that show problems with the machine. Bullying those who demonstrate the problems just seems to raise more questions.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    ButWaitAMinute, 29 Mar 2006 @ 1:38pm

    More diebold Stories without substance

    Once again a story about voting machines failing security tests and once again no details on exactly how they failed. This is a major ommission. Why did the state of Utah agree with Diebold? Because the the tests probaly made no sense at all. Why is a county official running security tests? Who did he get to do the testing? What are their qualifications? Did you ever think that perhaps they did break the macihnes because they had no idea what they were doing?

    Once again, one-sided reporting and once again no facts to support that side. Just Great......

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.