by Mike Masnick
Mon, Jan 14th 2008 11:59am
Following last week's New Hampshire primary, I've been besieged by people pushing stories suggesting massive problems with Diebold/Premiere's optical scan machines. It's well-documented that the machines have poor security and can be hacked, but it's a big leap to go from "can" to "were." And while some point to discrepancies in the vote tallies in places that used the Diebold counters and places that hand counted, a more thorough look at the numbers doesn't suggest anything nefarious. However, the really key point is that, thanks to years of doubletalk from e-voting vendors, as well as story after story after story about e-voting insecurities -- which none of the major vendors took seriously -- we've now reached a point where many people's natural conclusion is that these insecure machines were at fault. This is an issue that could have easily been solved years ago if the folks at Diebold/Premiere, ES&S, and Sequoia hadn't acted like e-voting security was a private matter, rather than a matter of national interest. If they had recognized that their own business prospects would be much stronger if the populace actually trusted their machines, perhaps they would have actually responded to security concerns, rather than laughing them off or denying them entirely. So while there may not have actually been any security problems with the voting machines last week, it's Diebold's fault that so many people think it's plausible.
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