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December 21, 2003 - Electronic Voting: A Short Note on Diebold

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Time to pay attention, I suppose.


Employing convicted felons to assure our votes are counted fairly...

I haven't commented much on the voting machine problems, as most of the country moves toward a uniform, computerized touch-screen system for the next presidential election.


Yeah, in Georgia they may have screwed the Democrats out of a senate seat in the last election, as many votes kind of got lost - votes for Max Cleland.


Oh well.


These Diebold machines cannot be audited and leave no paper trail.

Yeah, I read when Diebold made its sales pitch to the government of Ohio the president of Diebold said he was committed to delivering all the Ohio Electoral Votes to George Bush in the next election - but perhaps he was just being a tad enthusiastic.  Diebold wouldn't cheat, would they?

Yeah, out here in California our folks, led by Barbara Boxer, are insisting Diebold alter their machines to provide each voter a receipt, and provide a "paper trail" for the official records.  Diebold says that will triple the cost of the machines and cannot be done fast enough for the next election - lots of coding and hardware changes would be necessary.  And we're in a bit of a bind out here as the state just this week declared a "financial crisis" - no money for all that.

Yeah, I know the Diebold corporation gives major contributions to the national Republican party and many state Republican parties, and no money to the Democrats.

I know all that.  But I hadn't paid much attention.

Given all that I came across this last straw.

Con Job at Diebold Subsidiary
Associated Press 10:05 AM Dec. 17, 2003 PT


SAN FRANCISCO -- At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for voting machine software.

Voter advocate Bev Harris alleged Tuesday that managers of a subsidiary of Diebold Inc., one of the country's largest voting equipment vendors, included a cocaine trafficker, a man who conducted fraudulent stock transactions and a programmer jailed for falsifying computer records.

The programmer, Jeffrey Dean, wrote and maintained proprietary code used to count hundreds of thousands of votes as senior vice president of Global Election Systems. Diebold purchased GES in January 2002.

According to a public court document released before GES hired him, Dean served time in a Washington state correctional facility for stealing money and tampering with computer files in a scheme that "involved a high degree of sophistication and planning."




Well, one blogger is pretty upset:

What the hell is wrong with this country!?!?  Screw Saddam.  Screw Michael Jackson and screw every other stinking story the press thinks we should give a flying shit about.  There should be no other story more important!!!  None!  Period.  Nothing cuts to the core of our democracy, any democracy, like voting.  Voting is democracy!  Why did we fight the British for independence?  Why did we fight the Nazis?  The communists?  What the hell have we been shedding blood over if not to defend the right of a free people to choose their own Representative government!?!?

Hello 60 minutes?  Hello 20/20?  Hello Nightline?  Hello anyone???  Sure we can all call Barbra Boxer's office and we can all call our local rep's office and we can all call our state senator but maybe it's time we start a full court press on the press!  Have we fallen so far into one party rule that one party control of our voting apparatus just doesn't matter??

Here's a plan. Go here and print out any of the stories. Take a big black marker and hand write WHY IS THIS NOT BEING COVERED?? over it and mail it to every paper in your city.  Start sending in letters to editors.  Start sending letters to your favorite candidates campaign.  Hey DNC: want a talking point?  How about PRESERVE DEMOCRACY NOW!  If this story can't be taken seriously then nothing else matters!  Game over.  Pack it up.

If this isn't corrected by the '04 elections then our wildest dreams will be little more than our worst nightmares.

God this story just pisses me off.

Too much coffee?  Maybe not.

I should have been paying more attention.