Thursday :: Apr 22, 2004

California May Stop Diebold Voting Systems - Prosecution Possible

by Steve

In what may be a significant development in this year’s election, an advisory panel to California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended this afternoon that four counties be banned from using Diebold e-voting machines, based on concerns about security. The panel also recommended that a Secretary of State report on Diebold failings in California be referred to the California Attorney General for possible civil and criminal prosecution against the company.

The action comes on the heels of an abysmal performance by Diebold in the state’s March primary election, where many voters in San Diego County were turned away by the machines. Additional problems plagued Alameda and Orange counties. There have been ongoing concerns by voting officials and critics of electronic voting that such systems are prone to tampering and vote rigging, and because many do not produce a paper receipt for the voter to verify that their vote was logged correctly. Diebold itself was found to have installed uncertified software back in November in the machines used in San Diego County. Stories like these abound across the country, and are tracked by the wonderful Black Box Voting website and Bev Harris, and others.

It also doesn’t help that both the CEO and Diebold are major Bush and GOP campaign contributors and has pledged to help deliver Ohio to Bush in the November election. In fact, a plausible case can be made that Bush has already used Diebold to ensure a victory in that key battleground state this year. But perhaps California can be the first state to slow down the unseemly juggernaut towards unaccountable voting.

Steve :: 3:34 PM :: Comments (0) :: Digg It!