Wednesday :: Nov 30, 2005

Diebold Refuses to Show Its Cards

by Mary

Electronic Voting Systems are in the news because the HAVA (Help America Vote Act) deadline of January 1, 2006 is coming up and states have to certify that the systems they have purchased under HAVA comply with the reliability standards mandated by the act. HAVA was put in place after the election of 2000 to upgrade voting systems so that Americans could be assured their vote would count no matter where they lived.

Companies like Diebold jumped into the game early on asserting that their systems would provide the best voting system for Americans, but they have been reluctant to provide verifiable proof that their systems are fully reliable. HAVA was to fix the problems with old, unreliable voting systems, yet in Ohio in 2004 and 2005, voting anomolies on new systems have caused people to worry that the electronic voting systems technology is too easily hacked or rigged, and Diebold systems are highly implicated in these concerns.

Today there is strong evidence that perhaps the distrust engendered by Diebold is more than a figment of imagination of the tin-hat wearers. Otherwise, why would Diebold refuse to let a state hold their software in escrow if there were problems found in the vote besides the fact that they believe if a knowledgeable person has access to their software they would find problems?

In North Carolina, officials were expected to announce Thursday which voting machine vendors meet new standards for election equipment. The toughened requirements — which include placing the machines' software code in escrow for examination in case of a problem — have already led one top supplier, Diebold Inc., to say it will withdraw from the state, where about 20 counties use Diebold voting machines.

It is time to ask Diebold, "What do you have to hide?"

Update: Seeing the Forest describes what you need to have to have truly verifiable voting. Check it out.

Mary :: 10:07 PM :: Comments (6) :: TrackBack (1) :: Digg It!