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Diebold to Withdraw from E-Voting? 329

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the lots-of-polishing-to-do dept.
ICA writes "It appears after years of criticism, Diebold may be ready to withdraw from electronic voting entirely. The company is concerned that this relatively small and marginally profitable unit is hurting the company's overall image."
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Diebold to Withdraw from E-Voting?

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  • Latin (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stanistani (808333) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:05PM (#18239772) Homepage Journal
    de mortuis nil nisi bonum dicendum est
  • "It appears after years of criticism, Diebold may be ready to withdraw from electronic voting entirely. The company is concerned that this relatively small and marginally profitable unit is hurting the company's overall image."

    Good. What other voting machines need to go next?
    • by mcpkaaos (449561)
      In truth? All of them. Electronic voting is definitely one of those "just because you can, doesn't mean you should" kinda things.
    • the only responsible ballot is paper, guarded, and kept under lock until all challenges are met.

      whether it is counted by optical scanner or a dreary-eyed bunch of formerly high-minded citizens at 5 am is optional.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by homer_ca (144738)
        There's one huge reason why paper ballots are the best: You don't have to be computer-literate to understand paper ballots and the physical security needed to keep them safe. Transparency and trust in the voting systems are absolutely essential to our democracy.
  • by andy314159pi (787550) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:08PM (#18239830) Journal
    Whenever I called for technical support they would always say, "You know your vote doesn't count anyway."

    The above comment was intended for amusement purposes only and in no way reflects true events.
    • by Splab (574204) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:44PM (#18240350)
      Well Terry Pratchett puts it nicely in his books (from memory): "The Patrician believed in the one man, one vote system - he was the Man, he had the vote". So Diebold was right.
    • Whenever I called for technical support they would always say, "You know your vote doesn't count anyway."

      The above comment was intended for amusement purposes only and in no way reflects true events.

      Amusement? Nothing amuses me more than truth, as in "you couldn't make up this stuff."
      Consider when Diebold CEO, Walden O'Dell wrote in a fund raising letter that he was committed "to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President." I don't bloody understand how much more the company's image

  • by CrazyJim1 (809850) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:08PM (#18239834) Journal
    Instead of just letting a company have their way with electronic voting, they really should have done research into the best voting method. I think on Slashdot we've reached a general consensus that there should at least be a verifyable paper trail that each voter can see their votes cast on paper. This would help in case of machine failure, or in case of voter fraud committed by the programmer. I'm no expert on electronic voting, but it doesn't take an expert to see there are flaws with the current electronic voting.
    • I think on Slashdot we've reached a general consensus

      And if that by itself is not a landmark event heralding the dawn of a new age, I don't know what is.
    • by Coryoth (254751)

      Instead of just letting a company have their way with electronic voting, they really should have done research into the best voting method. I think on Slashdot we've reached a general consensus that there should at least be a verifyable paper trail that each voter can see their votes cast on paper.

      I think a paper trail is just the beginning. I think some other constraints should be: open source code, inspectable by anyone, that can be compiled and compared to binaries installed on machines. But that's just the start. I think having said code in a language like SPARK-Ada [praxis-his.com] (a subset of Ada with annotations in comments that allow for formal correctness proofs), along with openly published correctness proofs for various properties (such as ensuring a vote will get tallied correctly) that can be verified

    • by nicklott (533496)

      there should at least be a verifyable paper trail that each voter can see their votes cast on paper

      Begging the question, why bother with the machines at all?
    • by Jaeph (710098)
      "Instead of just letting a company have their way with electronic voting, they really should have done research into the best voting method."

      Whoever marked you as "insightful" should be shot.

      Who is "they"? That's the real question.

      The answer is that "they" is really "us"; that is, the electorate. We keep putting the same idiots into government who pull crap like this rather than voting them out of office. Instead of priorities based on news-media sales, people should be using their brains and voting in p
  • I hope they do.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by grommit (97148)
    Unfortunately for Diebold, I'm not of the opinion that if they can't properly make a secure voting machine, what is to say that they can make a secure ATM? Sure, they may be two completely different divisions within the same company but considering how much the top management has avoided doing the right thing to fix their voting machines, I doubt the ATM division would be much different.
    • Re:I hope they do.. (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rlp (11898) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:15PM (#18239952)
      > I doubt the ATM division would be much different.

      Very different problem. There are fewer ATM's and banks pay a lot more for them. The are put in place once and generally not moved. They are serviced by trained technicians rather than volunteers. The technology is much more mature. And banks are more concerned with security than the average politician / bureaucrat who's simply looking for the lowest bidder.
      • by HaeMaker (221642) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:43PM (#18240332) Homepage
        ...and everyone involved has a vested interest to make sure transactions proceed in a secure, reliable, verifiable manner. Voting is not the same situation as those with a vested interest can benefit from a insecure system.
      • To add to that (Score:3, Insightful)

        by phorm (591458)
        Bank: End-user receipts are allowed and in fact welcomed. When you make a transaction it spits out a little piece of paper that shows your balance and/or banking history

        Voting Machine: End user is not to receive a paper receipt, mainly on the basis that doing so could further vote-buying/pressuring/forcing/etc (i.e. a given group threatening dire consequences if voted Y doesn't come out with a slip saying he/she voted for "X")
        • by lsommerer (89441)

          Voting Machine: End user is not to receive a paper receipt, mainly on the basis that doing so could further vote-buying/pressuring/forcing/etc (i.e. a given group threatening dire consequences if voted Y doesn't come out with a slip saying he/she voted for "X") What we clearly need is a machine that allows you to enter your vote, visibly verify your vote, and then, optionally, print out a receipt for your vote or print out a receipt that says you voted differently from your actual vote. That way I can vote

      • by jmichaelg (148257)
        Consider for a moment the debit card machines that were emplaced at Office Max. Using your criterion as a checklist, you would think debit card machines would be very secure. But they're not secure [zdnet.com] for reasons having nothing to do with your checklist.

        The fact is Diebold branded the voting machines as Diebold machines so they would sell more voting machines. The implied sales pitch was "we make ATMs which you trust so you know you can trust our voting machines." Now that we don't trust their voting machines,
      • by owlnation (858981)

        And banks are more concerned with their security than the average politician / bureaucrat who's simply looking for the lowest bidder.
        There, fixed that for you. The security of their customers' money is of secondary concern, just as long as no-one finds out there's a problem.
      • by Marillion (33728)

        My understanding is that Diebold bought Global Election Systems in 2002 to achieve faster time to market. The Help America Vote Act was in the wake of the 2000 election. Diebold pounced on a chance to enter the ripe electronic voting market. My biggest fault with Diebold, is that they were too hasty and let that cloud their judgement as they bought a crappy company that didn't know squat about security.

    • Re:I hope they do.. (Score:4, Informative)

      by vought (160908) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:15PM (#18239960)
      I'm not of the opinion that if they can't properly make a secure voting machine, what is to say that they can make a secure ATM?

      1. The secure transaction networks NOT created by Diebold;
      2. The visual and electronic security monitoring every ATM is subject to;
      3. Receipts;
      4. Government-mandated standards and auditing.

      Any other questions?
    • by ashitaka (27544)
      What I find amusing about Diebold's ATMs now that my bank has replaced all the old ones with their machines is the increased number of times you have to push a key beside the screen or on the keypad to confirm a million times over that you really wanted to withdraw money and that this is exactly the amount you want to withdraw and that you really want a recipt and that you have removed your ATM card before it will finally print out that receipt.

      If their voting machines had as much confirmation as their ATMs
  • Great. This should be a very nice market in which several competent manufacturers could compete.

    Diebold doesn't seem to have the will to improve its offering, or even to take an honest look at its shortcomings. It's hard to see how others couldn't do a lot better.

    • ...probably not (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Overzeetop (214511)
      These will always be low bidder projects with thin margins and lousy propects. Look how well the mechanical voting machine company did.

      Seriously, you can't make money on something which is (a) an expense which cannot garner any revenue and (b) which is used extremely infrequently.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by uarch (637449)
      You'd have to be crazy to want to get into that business. Any piece of hardware that a third party has access to can be modified as long as someone is willing to put in enough effort. There's enough zealots on both sides of an election that you can guarantee someone would figure it out no matter what you do to the hardware.

      There will never be truly "secure" electronic voting without a complete rework of every aspect of the process and even then it probably would never be truly secure.
  • Run! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheSpatulaOfLove (966301) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:13PM (#18239914)
    Run Diebold Run! Dissolve the division and destroy the paper-trail before the Dems figure out what the real story was for the past couple elections!
  • "The company is concerned that this relatively small and marginally profitable unit is hurting the company's overall image."

    That's absurd. Diebold's voting machines have destroyed the company's image completely, in my opinion. Seriously, if you know something about the history and you have a little technical knowledge, would you ever buy anything from Diebold?

    DEADbold.

    --
    My summary of U.S. gov corruption [futurepower.org]. Where's your's?
    • by Black-Man (198831)
      Oh really? I guess you've sworn off ATM's? Yeah... I didn't think so.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268)
        Unfortunately, it's rather difficult to choose what brand ATM you use. However, it's certainly possible to complain to your bank or credit union about their choice of Diebold ATMs, and it's also certainly possible that the people at banks/CUs who decide which ATM vendor to purchase from may decide against Diebold based on all the negative publicity.
      • by Maestro4k (707634)

        Oh really? I guess you've sworn off ATM's? Yeah... I didn't think so.

        I've sworn off Diebold ones, it's not even very difficult to do. I've not seen any of the in-store debit card things made by Diebold around here and I can go into any store that has those and buy a small item and get cash back quite simply. I end up paying less fees this way as well (since my bank charges me fees for using even their own ATMs).

    • Before this whole e-voting fiasco, I hadn't heard much about Diebold at all. I used ATMs for years without really caring about who built the damn things any more than I would care about which company made the parking meter outside the bank or the thumbtacks on their bulletin board. I didn't work in any industry that was tied strongly enough to whatever Diebold did to care.

      Nowadays, the only mental image I have of Diebold nowadays is the complete mess of things they have made, as reported by concerned com
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SiO2 (124860)
        The reason you really hadn't heard about them prior to this whole electronic voting mess is because their security and ATM products are quite good. Diebold was completely off everyone's radar because they had such a good reputation in the industry. A company does not get to be around 150 years by selling a lot of garbage.

        The voting fiasco happened because of a bad business decision. With the entire nation in an uproar over the botched 2000 elections, Diebold saw an opportunity to capitalize on everyone's c
    • by mdielmann (514750)
      I'd like to agree with you, but that wouldn't explain why one of the banks I regularly deal with just upgraded to Diebold ATMs.
  • Then What? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by necro81 (917438) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:16PM (#18239962) Journal
    If it is true that Diebold is looking to dump this business unit (which hasn't been confirmed or denied - Diebold has only said that an announcement would come sometime), what then happens to all the machines (100,000+, i think)? Surely they, or whoever purchases the business unit, is still on the hook for support, updates, and whatever flak comes when the things don't work right. Those machines aren't going to simply vanish or instantly become secure and reliable. Some improvements can be made by completely changing the firmware, but a great deal of the criticism behind the voting machines was their lack of physical security and lack of a physical paper trail. Those are problems that can't be fixed without drastically altering the hardware itself. What company out there would want to buy this business unit and take that challenge on?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Grishnakh (216268)
      Welcome to the way corporations work, and how they get to avoid responsibility for their mistakes, unlike normal people.

      If Diebold really wants to divest itself of this division, they have two options: 1) sell it to some other sucker, or 2) spin it off as a separate corporation.

      1) is the most attractive option in most cases, since Diebold would get paid for the division. However, if they can't find a sucker with the cash needed, this option's out. As you pointed out, whoever buys this division could be se
  • Wait, wait..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LordPhantom (763327) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:17PM (#18239994)
    ....so by proving they -can't- fix their problems, they'll somehow convince the world that their -other- business (ATMs) are somehow reliable and secure?

    Sure lack of profitability != bad product always, but I'm not sure how dumping their problem child is going to fix the problem now.
    • by Dog-Cow (21281)
      Only people like those on slashdot assume or even know enough to assume that if the voting machines are bad that the ATMs *may* be bad. The financial institutions that have been using Diebold products already *know* how secure and reliable they are. Diebold does not need to prove anything in that market. Were I not a slashdot reader, I would not know that Diebold made ATMs. Even after reading this bit of trivia however long ago, I still have not actually noticed the manufacturer of any ATM I have used.
  • Another option for Diebold might be to fix the problems: print a paper confirmation, make motherboard access a little harder than a luggage lock. We don't ask for much.
    • by nuzak (959558)
      Ironically, Diebold is a company that makes safes. You'd think they'd know a thing or two about locks.

      Knowing and caring are, of course, two very different things...
  • Hey, Diebold did their job and delivered Ohio [rollingstone.com].


    Mission Accomplished.
    • From the article quoted by the parent:

      Even worse, many electronic machines don't produce a paper record that can be recounted when equipment malfunctions - an omission that practically invites malicious tampering. "Every board of election has staff members with the technological ability to fix an election," Ion Sancho, an election supervisor in Leon County, Florida, told me. "Even one corrupt staffer can throw an election. Without paper records, it could happen under my nose and there is no way I'd ever find out about it. With a few key people in the right places, it would be possible to throw a presidential election."

      Just because it's a conspiracy theory, dosen't mean it's flamebait.

      -GiH

  • by Dekortage (697532) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:24PM (#18240074) Homepage

    According to quoted experts, Diebold might dump its poorly-rated electronic voting division. Or it might not.

    • According to quoted experts, Diebold might dump its poorly-rated electronic voting division. Or it might not.
      OR they're using this to drum up interest before announcing their new Presidential Candidate Consulting division. :)

      -GiH
  • by computersareevil (244846) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:24PM (#18240090)
    Lucky for us they did get into e-voting, and it has hurt their reputation. If they didn't, we wouldn't have been as aware that if security was their ass, they wouldn't be able to find it with both hands tied behind their back! Their reputation needed to be brought down.
     
  • "The company is concerned that this relatively small and marginally profitable unit is hurting the company's overall image" Another great company down the tubes, what's next Enron is fudging the books? You critics are killing us all!
  • by SolusSD (680489) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:26PM (#18240106) Homepage
    Is it possible to tarnish this company's image any further?
  • by gelfling (6534) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:29PM (#18240150) Homepage Journal
    51% against. 53% for George Bush. Case closed.
  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:37PM (#18240246)
    Maybe I'm a conspiracy theorist, I don't know, maybe I've been in the computer business too long.

    Diebold should have been able to make an e-voting system. NO bank would accept the "really, really, it works" hand waving from Diebold with regards to the e-voting. All ATM machines, teller machines, and machines that handle monetary transactions somewhere along the line, produce at least one verifiable paper record of credit and debit for each party in the transaction and agents involved. To do less with voting seems completely absurd. For Diebold to even suggest a system without proper accountability makes absolutely no sense what so ever. They really do understand security and record keeping, what the hell happened with e-voting? As a corporation, e-voting should have been a slam dunk for them.

    Ineptitude at such a large corporation is not unheard of, but surely someone would have said something, right? When the president of Diebold said he would do what ever he could to make sure G.W. Bush gets re-elected, it was an event that colored my "benefit of the doubt" stance on Diebold.

    I honestly believe that G.W. Bush and company helped fix the election and Diebold was just one of the methods. It only takes slight tampering to sway a consensus or another. When the polling authority in ohio opened ballot boxes to "pre-screen" the supposedly "random" selection in order to avoid a full recount, one has to wonder. In 2000 it was Florida, in 2004 it was Ohio, regardless the outcome is the same.

    I think in the U.S.A. we have to ensure our own democracy before we try to bring democracy elsewhere by force.

    Just my $0.02

    P.S. This is not a flame post, just the words of a sad and disillusioned patriotic American.

  • Don't Party Yet... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:39PM (#18240286) Homepage Journal
    You know that the technologies, hardware and software behind Diebold's systems were not inexpensive. So it's highly unlikely that they will just drop out of this. What will happen instead is that their work will be sold to the highest bidder. And that company will become the new Diebold with the main difference being that this new company will likely have e-voting as their main focus. Expect to hear about a new "better" voting machine before the next presidential elections. If they play their cards right, they'll spin it to make it seem like they are totally new and have better reliability than Diebold did. Then the same old games will be played and we'll have another presidential election tarnished by uncertainty about the results. They play this game enough times and this will seem "normal". Those voters who are happy with the results will not question the results. Those who are unhappy will also stop questioning as the other side will beat them into submission by saying, "sour grapes" enough times. And all will be well for those with the money to buy votes.
  • Mission Accomplished (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    You can't "elect" W more than twice, so their work here is done.
  • Dumbold Voting Machine for The Sims [dumbold.com]

    The Dumbold Voting Machine for The Sims enables the simulated people in your virtual dollhouse to vote!

    It's an interactive "get out the vote" public service message, in the form of a free downloadable Sims object.

    This Sims object is an electronic voting machine that lets your Sims vote between four candidates: Kerry, Bush, Nader and Badnarik.

    I've included informative text in this Sims object, which it displays in illustrated dialogs to educate players about el

  • OT: Secure Tallying (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lawpoop (604919) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:50PM (#18240442) Homepage Journal
    What we really need to do electronic voting is secure tallying. We need a public, verifiable way of checking that the tallies are legitimate. We also need to make sure that they are also anonymous.

    Any proposed method of verifying your electronic vote, whether it's a paper receipt, a bar code, or a website that you can check later on, is susceptible to being left out of the tally. So what if the website reports that it has correctly recorded your vote? You have no way of knowing whether your verified vote is counted in the official tally. Even if you see a vote exactly like yours in the official tally, it may or may not belong to you. With anonymous voting, several people might be looking at a single ballot, all thinking it was the one that they cast.

    I'm trying to imagine a system where we can all have verified votes and make sure that they are affecting the official tally, but still maintain anonymity in the vote. Voting is basically a system where each voter can affect the outcome of the election by exactly one vote, for each office and issue. Perhaps a system where each voter adds encrypted strings of their vote to the official tally. Each voter can decrypt the official tally string and see that their vote has affect the tally. At the end of the election the last voter turns their decryption string to the officials, and the tallies are decrypted.

    As you can tell, I'm not a mathematician nor a computer scientist. Please feel free to chime in and criticize or offer new ideas.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Twinkle (84777)
      "What we really need to do electronic voting"...

      let me stop you right there.
  • by randall_burns (108052) <randall_burnsNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:52PM (#18240476)
    Personally, I see no other purpose in the design of Diebold voting systems other than to facilitate fraud. Seriously, there just aren't any really good protections built into the whole device.

    Now, that it appears very likely that in 2008, Democrats will control both houses of congress and the presidency,I can understand why the folks at Diebold are worried about things like future investigations of their business. I really can believe it might make business sense for the Diebold management to dump their voting machines business at a loss-and let somebody else hold that hot potatoe. I would also expect some substantial managerial turnover is in order too.

    Now, the problem is that Diebold is just the most visible of several corrupt companies here. I wouldn't forget about ES&S--which is another major player in the market-and which has similar problems.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Coryoth (254751)

      Personally, I see no other purpose in the design of Diebold voting systems other than to facilitate fraud. Seriously, there just aren't any really good protections built into the whole device.

      I have to say that quotes about attribution, malice, and incompetence come to mind. It is certainly true that the Diebold system is horribly insecure. On the other hand, it also bears a lot of the hallmarks of something thrown together by a few incompetent engineers in a couple of weeks. I mean really, the central tabulator running on a half assed little Access database? The insecurity of that is simply down to Access and how painfully cobbled together the system is - the sort of thing a VB programmer woul

  • by grandpa-geek (981017) on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:57PM (#18240542)
    According to Black Box Voting (http://www.bbvforums.org/forums/messages/1954/173 05.html?1138394704) the company that originally designed the Diebold machines was founded by five convicted felons. Four were perpetrators of sophisticated fraud and the fifth was a drug-dealer prison buddy of one of the fraudsters.

    The criminal records of these people would make them ineligible to carry bedpans in Maryland nursing homes, but of course there are no criminal record checks for people who design and maintain voting machines.

    The criminal backgrounds of Global's original founders gives reason to suspect that the widespread security vulnerabilities of the machines were not due to mere incompetence but might have been connected to some kind of nefarious scheme concocted by their criminal minds.

    Accordingly, let me suggest that a proper purchaser for Diebold Election Systems might be some international criminal syndicate, for example the Russian Mafia, the drug cartels, or perhaps some criminal group fronting for terrorists. That would, in a sense, return the machines to people with the backgrounds of the founders of the original developer.

    The Russian Mafia could make voting systems a subsidiary of their organization that reportedly is responsible for all the recent spam related to pump-and-dump penny stock schemes. They certainly have sophisticated computer capability behind those schemes. They could auction election victories just like they now reportedly auction cybercrime facilities and exploits.

    Just some thoughts.

  • no support, no parts, just give back the 800 number and get the (f) out.

    take the losses and teach a lesson: building a division to irregularly "count" votes without safeguards, and having your CEO pushing a candidate who was widely seen as becoming president through a vote steal is truly irresponsible.

    I will appropriate somebody else's sig for emphasis... approximate quotes... "the four boxes of freedom... soap, ballot, jury, and ammo." diebold election systems appears hell-bent on skipping the jury box.
  • by blueforce (192332) <clannagael@gma3.14159il.com minus pi> on Monday March 05, 2007 @02:59PM (#18240576) Homepage Journal
    [Disclaimer, I live and work down the road from the Diebold corp offices and have family that work there.]

    I know it's asking a lot from the /. crowd, but try getting the facts straight before throttling the company and writing it off as a total incompetent.

    Diebold didn't make the voting machines, it purchased the company that did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold_Election_Syst ems [wikipedia.org]

    For those too lazy to click the link:

    "Diebold Election Systems is currently run by Bob Urosevich [1] who has worked in the election systems industry since 1976. In 1979, Mr. Urosevich founded American Information Systems. He served as the President of AIS now known as Election Systems & Software, Inc. (ES&S) from 1979 through 1992. Bob's brother, Todd Urosevich, is Vice President, Aftermarket Sales with ES&S, DES's chief competitor. In 1995, Bob Urosevich started I-Mark Systems, whose product was a touch screen voting system utilizing a smart card and biometric encryption authorization technology. Global Election Systems, Inc. (GES) acquired I-Mark in 1997, and on July 31, 2000 Mr. Urosevich was promoted from Vice President of Sales and Marketing and New Business Development to President and Chief Operating Officer. On January 22, 2002, Diebold announced the acquisition of GES, then a manufacturer and supplier of electronic voting terminals and solutions. The total purchase price, in stock and cash, was $24.7 million. Global Election Systems subsequently changed its name to Diebold Election Systems, Inc."

    Diebold is actually well-respected and admired in this area. Diebold election systems are based in Texas whereas the financial systems are here in NE Ohio. I interviewed there for an SE position a couple of years ago, toured their ATM lab, and spent some quality time with some of their software engineers. They seemed to have a very competent operation and I enjoyed the interview. (I ended up taking a different job with another large international corp for other $elfi$h reason$ (I have a family to feed)) I heard the same moaning from the employees I met that I hear from family members who work there - something similar to "those stupid voting machines make us look bad." I have yet to meet an employee, management or otherwise, who has anything good to say about the elections systems division.

    Wally O'Dell is largely (if not solely) responsible for the elections systems debacle. It's no secret that he lead the company right into this political mess at the expense of the company's and his own reputations.

    Don't torpedo the whole company just because the former CEO bungled a bad deal with a flawed political agenda. It'll eventually work out in the wash, then you can cast aspersions on a new company TBA.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I know it's asking a lot from the /. crowd, but try getting the facts straight before throttling the company and writing it off as a total incompetent. Diebold didn't make the voting machines, it purchased the company that did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diebold_Election_Syst [wikipedia.org] ems

      Uh, if they're purchasing a company, they then take on that company's responsibilities until they divest themselves of it - which is what they're attempting to do now.

      Diebold themselves sell (I believe) more ATMs than any othe

  • by ErichTheRed (39327) on Monday March 05, 2007 @03:09PM (#18240680)
    With all the negative press surrounding electronic voting, I wonder if this signals a jump back to the standard paper or mechanical voting machines. Any election can be fixed, but I've always felt electronic voting isn't quite ready yet. Given that most people wouldn't understand how an electronic voting machine could produce wrong or fraudulent results, it's probably not the best thing to introduce right now. People understand the idea of improperly marked paper ballots or an election official tampering with the older mechanical tabulators. People don't fully grasp the idea of a group of hackers, whether for fun or profit, gaining access to or changing vote results.

    I say we should wait until computer security really is nailed down. Not just because Symantec or other vendors say we're secure, but because it's actually so. Listening to security vendors do presentations at work to the executives is a painful exercise. The common theme is "buy this box, and you're 100% secure from these threats." I think it's going to take a lot of convincing (and a few examples) to change people's thoughts on this.
  • Brazil elections... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by vhogemann (797994) <victor@NoSpaM.hogemann.com> on Monday March 05, 2007 @03:10PM (#18240704) Homepage
    What I find amusing, is how much success we had using electronic voting machines here at Brazil... we have been using these for almost 10 years now. The last presidential election was almost entirely conducted using these machines... and only a few on the entire country had to be replaced due failure.

    Of course there are some issues to be sorted, but overall it was a huge improvement over the old paper-based system.

    So, why did Brazil succeed where the USA failed?
  • The company is concerned that this relatively small and marginally profitable unit is hurting the company's overall image.

    "The company has already achieved its goals of delivering Ohio to the Republican Party as their founder promised, and no longer needs to be involved in electronic voting."

    There, fixed that for you.

    It of course is a reasonable reason given; it's definitely made me very aware that every time I use an ATM with the Diebold logo, I'm using a probably-insecure device. That's why the reason

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday March 05, 2007 @07:31PM (#18244152)
    Is the Bush regime really planning on leaving office at the end of his term?

    Seriously.

    All it would take is another well-timed 9-11, or a total market collapse, or some other disaster at the right time, and I can easily see Bush declaring himself Emperor for Life.

    Either that, or the next guy will be even worse. "The Prezinator" anyone?

    Ugh. In in world where the RIAA has guys with flak jackets and machine guns, any crazy thing can happen.


    -FL

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