Maryland Suing Diebold/Premier For Money It Spent To Fix Its Voting Machines

from the pay-up dept

Things just keep getting worse for Diebold's e-voting subsidiary, that was laughably renamed Premier Election Solutions to avoid all of the baggage associated with the Diebold name. It seems that the state of Maryland is suing the company and demanding $8.5 million to cover the money the state had to pay to fix its faulty e-voting machines. You may recall that Maryland has been at the forefront in fighting Diebold/Premier over its machines. Back in 2006, following some rather damning info and significant problems, Maryland's governor wanted to get rid of all of Diebold's machines.

Diebold did its usual thing, responding to different problems, insisting there was no real problem and if there were, that it would all be fixed in time for the election in November of that year. Of course, Diebold didn't actually do much to help -- so the state of Maryland took matters into their own hands to try to fix the flaws in the machines, and now wants Diebold/Premier to pay for the costs of having done so. In rather typical fashion, Diebold/Premier has put out its usual response to pretty much any criticism: claiming it has no clue what anyone is talking about, saying that it is "puzzled by the timing and vagueness" of the lawsuit, while also saying it is: "inaccurate and unfounded." The company also says its about events that occurred "five or more years ago" (apparently, they weren't paying attention in 2006) and that "Maryland just completed one of the smoothest elections in the state's history," though the company fails to note that's more in spite of Diebold/Premier than because of it.
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Filed Under: e-voting, maryland
Companies: diebold, premier voting

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  1. identicon
    James M., 29 Dec 2008 @ 1:34pm

    Easy Fix

    There is a pretty simple fix to this whole "no paper trail" problem.

    First off, let me say, I'm from Maryland and I work as an ITS Engineer. I didn't really have any problem with the functionality of the system itself. I do know that there were a lot of systems that just completely broke down and were unusable, which is a whole other problem.

    Anyway, I think the easy way to fix this issue is to have a central server that each machine talks to. All it would have to be is a SAN - a collection of disk space - where logs and such can be contained. You are given a keycard that is coded with your personal information on it (like you do now). You insert that card into the machine (like you do now). You punch in who you want to vote for (like you do now). The only difference is that when you submit your vote, it doesn't save it on the local disk. The vote is submitted to a centralized system along with the code that is attached to your personal information.

    This way you have one centralized location that would house all that information. And if something goes wrong with that central server (and it will, cause it always does), then the terminals would revert to saving to a solid-state drive until a connection can be made to the central server, at which time an admin can go on and do a force dump from the terminal to the server. Logs would be kept of each transaction made from the terminal to the server, and all that kind of stuff.

    Best thing is it would all run on Linux :-D

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