ES&S Gave California E-Voting Machines That Weren't Certified

from the and-the-hits-keep-coming dept

Well, the hits keep for Election Systems & Software (ES&S). The company was already facing some controversy over the fact that its e-voting machines time stamped the ballots in a way that could reveal how voters voted, and now California's Secretary of State has discovered that the company gave the state e-voting machines for the last election that were not certified. California had certified one model of ES&S machines, but the company sold a different model to five counties. The state is now looking to fine ES&S. Of course, ES&S is also the company that originally refused to hand over its source code to the state, but eventually did so along with a threatening letter about how it would hold the Secretary of State personally responsible for any trade secrets that leaked. Trade secrets like how their machines accidentally were found to count votes in triplicate? ES&S, by the way, is also the company whose machines were used in the Florida election where many votes went missing, and it was later discovered that the company had passed around memos about their buggy software that could have caused the problem. It's also the company that had an employee come here to Techdirt and post a bunch of angry comments about how e-voting machines were perfectly safe and went through more than enough testing. Apparently not in California. Update: As pointed out in the comments, the company also was just caught failing to disclose foreign manufacturing partners to federal agencies, as it's required to do. ES&S's response on being caught? Shrugged it off as an oversight that they would fix. It appears that the company doesn't seem to worry about getting punished for all its mistakes.
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Filed Under: california, e-voting
Companies: es&s

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  1. identicon
    Overcast, 22 Aug 2007 @ 8:36am

    I'm sorry, but I disagree that the companies are the problem.

    I would kinda disagree there - I mean the NTSB is the government agency for the auto safety, but if a car maker makes a dangerous piece of junk, it's not necessarily the government's fault, particularly when the company says it's "safe" or "secure".

    But personally, I don't think computers will ever really be "secure" any more than a car is ever really "safe" - in spite of airbags, seatbelts - moving 2000+ lbs of steel at 70 mph - well accidents are bound to happen. And... Computer code is bound to be bugged, hacked, or both.

    Although, yes - I do agree in principle, really. I'd put most of the blame on the Government and Media - for *telling* us they are secure and safe.

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