Diebold Hid Faulty Machines From Elections Board

from the again-and-again-and-again dept

It's hard to go a day without hearing yet another story about electronic voting machine problems. However, the worst thing is the way that the companies in the space, with Diebold leading the way, respond when they find out about problems. Whether it's denying they're problems to cracking jokes about those who find the flaws, it doesn't make you very confident that they really want these machines fixed. The Washington Post has now discovered that Diebold had to quietly replace defective parts on a bunch of their machines last year. Now, obviously, defects happen, but what's odd is the way Diebold made sure that as few people as possible knew that the machines had problems that were being fixed. While Diebold claims it was "publicly disclosed," it turns out all that was disclosed was that there would be "a technology refresh" to bring the machines up to a more recent specification. It did not say anything about the devices having faulty parts -- which may have raised some concerns from the Elections Board about how ready these machines were for elections. Now, it's not at all surprising to find out that a company would want to keep news of technical failures in its equipment from being publicly discussed -- but it should be required for equipment that is being used for a public election where people need to trust that the equipment is safe and accurate. Along the same lines, as we suggested when Diebold's source code was leaked, some in the press are starting to point out that having the source code available should be required. There's simply no reason not to require it, if you want a fair and accurate election.
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  1. identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 26 Oct 2006 @ 4:56pm

    Re: overkill

    THis way they are more fun to hack - how fo you make sure the right candidate wins when anybody can uderstand the system.

    To Spork: if the permenant officials were actually permenant and promoted by thier own hierachy, not by the politicians. HTis way, they would be able to get on with government while the politicains do the politcs, a much better division of labour. The Civil Service can make sensible decisions, and do not need to worry about etting re-elected, and the politicians can worry about being re-elected without thet making a mess of the country. THe Civil Servants can be those mebers of the upper-middle class who do not need to line thier own pockets or worry about thier tax bill. THe perfect system of governemnt is that in Yes POrtime Minister, where there is a disinterested and unelected upper house which moderates the actions of the lower, and the Civil Service is independent of politics. Unfortunately, the system was neer that perfect and is now being destroyed.

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