Diebold Insists Its E-Voting Machines Are So Good, It Must Be Illegal To Use Any Other Voting Machine

from the vote-here dept

E-voting machine provider Diebold has made some crazy statements over the years trying to defend its e-voting machines, but the company may have set a new level of craziness. ScaredOfTheMan writes in to let us know that Diebold is suing the state of Massachusetts after the Secretary of State chose e-voting machines supplied by a Diebold competitor. Diebold doesn't seem to have any evidence that anything was done wrong -- but it insists that it has the best machines, and therefore, it wants the court to award the contract to Diebold instead. Diebold's statement on the matter is bizarre, saying that since the company competes across the country it knows it has the best machines and that it's "worth the time and money" to go to court to find out why it lost. It's nice to see that Diebold doesn't mind wasting taxpayer money in forcing Massachusetts to defend its vendor picking decisions when the company doesn't appear to have any evidence at all that something illegal actually happened. In fact, they're not even claiming anything illegal happened at all. They just think the state made the wrong choice. Given the long and well-documented history of problems with Diebold and its e-voting machines, including Diebold's repeated attempts to brush off all of the damning evidence against it, it seems perfectly reasonable that a state might think twice about awarding a multi-million dollar e-voting contract to Diebold. In fact, the state is saying that security was an important point in making the decision over which vendor to select -- and the overall consensus vote was in favor of AutoMark, rather than Diebold. Apparently, though, Diebold feels someone cooked the vote against it -- which seems a bit ironic.

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  • identicon
    SFGary, 26 Mar 2007 @ 3:02pm

    These guys have some nerve! Was anything done to fix all the problems identified by the various investigations into their voting systems? I did not come across any replies from the company saying they were going to fix anything. The judge should throw this out as a frivolous lawsuit and fine them.

    These are also the ame set of morons making ATMs. I wonder how secure those are...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Vincent Clement (profile), 26 Mar 2007 @ 5:49pm

      Re:

      I would say that the ATMs are far more secure than their voting machines. You get a paper receipt. You can check your passbook, paper statement or online statement for activity. Can you do that with an electronic voting machine from Diebold?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Mar 2007 @ 3:06pm

    So corporations can sue you for not buying their products now?

    The content providers are going to have a field day with this one...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ScaredOfTheMan, 26 Mar 2007 @ 3:38pm

    Bully Marketing?

    The only rationale explanation I can come up with for this lawsuit is to send a shoot across the bow of any states that are even considering buying another brand of voting machine.

    Either you buy diebold or we sue you... you lose your job and your replacement buys diebold.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nasty Old Geezer, 26 Mar 2007 @ 3:38pm

    Wow!

    Even the RIAA/MPAA might (I said MIGHT) hesitate over that one. Sue if you don't buy our product....wow.

    Words fail me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Vincent Clement (profile), 26 Mar 2007 @ 5:54pm

      Re: Wow!

      No, but the RIAA, MPAA and now Diebold apparently have no problem suing potential customers. I'm fairly certain that is not the best way to attract new customers - or even keep your existing customers.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Kevin, 26 Mar 2007 @ 3:39pm

    The vote was rigged? Really?

    How does it feel, Diebold? How do you like it now that the shoe is on the other foot? I bet it doesn't feel so good when you're the one getting screwed, does it? Squeal Dieblod! Squeal like a little piggy!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jon, 26 Mar 2007 @ 3:41pm

    i'm glad to see the private sector's way of life is moving into the corporate world...

    to sue until it's in your favor...

    c'mon, this better be an early april fools joke, or at least get shot down before it actually goes to court...

    diebold seriously sounds like a little baby..."sniff sniff, they picked the other kid for the team first, but i'm better, they should pick me first teacher...make them pick me first!!!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ehrichweiss, 26 Mar 2007 @ 4:12pm

    not about this at all...

    Actually, if you search a bit you'll find they're suing so they can find what the criteria were for the voting machines. Nothing else AFAIK. So it's not exactly as it looks however I am NOT defending them by any means; I think they stink.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RM, 26 Mar 2007 @ 4:25pm

    Lord...

    That's simply absurd. It's amazing what companies will do to make a buck. They're getting up there with the RIAA in my opinion.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Java, 26 Mar 2007 @ 4:54pm

    "Actually, if you search a bit you'll find they're suing so they can find what the criteria were for the voting machines. Nothing else AFAIK. So it's not exactly as it looks however I am NOT defending them by any means; I think they stink."

    I am not sure I agree. The lawyer for Diebold was quoted as saying that he wanted the judge to award the contract to Diebold, but in absense of that, re-open the bidding.

    Therefore, I think they are trying for more than just find out why they lost.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 26 Mar 2007 @ 5:41pm

    They know...

    Diebold already knows:

    Why they didn't get the contract
    Their machines are totally flawed
    Their lawyers have political backing

    For them it's never an issue of being a good content provider, practicing good business ethics, or resolving problems by conventional means; it's all about knowing what strings to pull. When companies such as the RIAA and MPAA are trotting along winning case after frivolous case, along with the cluster-F*(!& that is the USPO, it's no surprise this happened. What will be surprising, and a complete slap in the face to the whole of society, is if this case goes to court. Considering they're suing a STATE it should be dropped immediately. Since when does the government bend to the will of big business? Oh, wait....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    YaMoms, 26 Mar 2007 @ 7:30pm

    Fishy

    I think they should sue, given Massatwoshits' history of unabashed liberalism.

    In other words, Diebold wants to prove it wasn't selected based on its merits, not wacko activists campaigning for its non-selection because they still pine for Gore in office.

    In that, I can see their point. To have one state choose another brand based on anything less than unadulterated proof of incompetence sets a dangerous precedent. And yes--the fact that this is a state underscores this fact--you would suspect that the process was on the up-and-up. All Diebold wants is proof.

    Besides, we all know the people that had trouble with voting machines were lucky to get out the door with their shoes tied, much less operate a pooterbox ;)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 26 Mar 2007 @ 8:17pm

    So let me get this straight...

    Diebold is suing in order to get proof of why the state of Mass. didn't award them a contract on e-voting machines. Wasn't is just a few months ago that Diebold went to court to get a judge to agree that asking for the source code of their voting machines was revealing company secrets and therefore Diebold could not be asked or forced to reveal said code? Or was that some other e-voting machine maker?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    eskayp, 26 Mar 2007 @ 8:25pm

    Shrewd move by DieBold:
    Sue any state or local government failing to buy DieBold machines.
    Get slapped down by local judge.
    Appeal to state supreme court.
    Get whacked by a panel of the state's highest hizonners.
    Appeal to United States Supreme Court.
    Get a favorable decision from all the conservatives & Bush appointees.
    Finally able to cash in on that promise by DieBold's CEO to 'do anything' to get George Bush elected.
    The mill wheel turns slowly, but grinds very thoroughly.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2007 @ 5:01am

    I can see the results now...

    In an ironic twist it's determined that the vote for which system to use was done on Diebold's E-Voting machines....and it's discovered that the vote tally giving the win to Diebold's competitors was due to incorrect counts from the machines.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Voter, 27 Mar 2007 @ 7:43am

    Diebold is not alone

    I would urge everyone who has read this to delve with us into the problem of which machines we have bought to channel our votes.

    In the past two years, we

    Diebold is not alone - ES&S is recently making demands as to what information counties are permitted to release concerning the functioning of its voting machines. These two companies, and possibly also Sequoia, which benefited greatly by the passage of Bob Ney's Help America Vote Act (the same Bob Ney who was convicted recently) and the $4 billion we handed to them so easily, seem to believe that they own our votes.

    And the company which was the most honest, and made a brand new, decent product to fit the provisions of Act - the only company which offered open review of its sourcecode - AccuPoll, ended up in bankruptcy. It was the most accessible to the disabled, the most secure, the most economical, had the least amount of proprietary equipment, and was the most open to R&D for special needs - even could handle Instant Runoff Voting. Now that it is out of bankruptcy, we ought all to demand that we vote on its product.

    But the big three companies still believe that they own our votes. Did anyone see that episode of NUMB3RS where the billionnaire wanted to own us all?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    |333173|3|_||3, 28 Mar 2007 @ 5:23am

    ATMs will be more secure because the bank eomployess would need to actually explain to thier superiors why they chose Diebold, and so far more people need to be bribed. THis might make it cheaper for them to compete legitimately.

    Now that it is legal to make retroactive laws in the USA, MA should pass a retroactive enabling act to fine Diebold twice whatever they may win and a prohibition on any form of activity in the state. Just the threat ought to kame Diebold run for cover, and it will be good to see retroactive legislation put to a good use (as opposed to the Hicks case).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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