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Diebold Rebrands What No One Wants 175

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the rose-by-a-different-name dept.
Irvu writes "Diebold has apparently failed in their bid to sell their tainted elections systems unit. Unable to find a buyer the CEO of Diebold promised that the system will be run more 'openly and independently.' To prove that they are serious, they renamed it. Diebold Election Systems is now Premiere Election Solutions. They still sell GEMS, AccuVote OS and the ever-unpopular AccuVote-TSX which performed so disastrously in California's Top-to-Bottom Review under the same names. Apparently their rebranding effort only goes so far."
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Diebold Rebrands What No One Wants

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  • by the_other_one (178565) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:12PM (#20256961) Homepage
    There are:
        old voting systems
    [X] paper
        bold voting systems
    [ ] electronic

    There are no old bold voting systems.

    DIE bold.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by crashlanding (894973)
      Hey,
      What about the Van Eck method of monitoring the voting results?
      Emanation monitoring could lead to some interesting early results!
      Yeah!
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Oh, that is interesting. I've seen articles that it's now possible to do Van Eck Phreaking on LCD displays as well as CRTs. Any voting method that allows voting to be monitored from the next room doesn't sound like a secret ballot to me.
    • by Rich0 (548339)
      There are:
                old voting systems
      [X] paper
                bold voting systems
      [X] electronic

      There are no old bold voting systems.



      You obviously have never been to Florida - just proved you wrong there... And that is the problem with a pure paper system. I'm all for using a GUI for the input validation, and paper for the count...
  • At least their death (and "rebirth") was rather bold.
  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:17PM (#20256997)
    work on the voting systems?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:21PM (#20257015)
      When your ATM gets scammed: All you lose is money.
      When your voting system gets scammed: You lose your rights.
    • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:29PM (#20257065)
      With a bank, if you get the numbers wrong, you lose that bank as a client FOREVER.

      With an election, if you get the number wrong, you have a politician who will be your friend for life.

      Think about it. They can handle billions of dollars, but they can't keep a million votes straight? At some point you realize that it isn't incompetence. It's their goal.
      • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:16AM (#20257371)
        The billions of dollars are trackable, accountable, and attributable.

        The millions of votes are supposed to be secret, anonymous, and unique.

        Tell me you don't see a difference with a straight face.

        (And hey: if you want to believe that every electronic election is rigged, no matter how eventually open source, now matter how eventualy trackable by paper-trail, etc., be my guest. Keep in mind that most of the electronic voting solutions were the result of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which was supposed to address the alleged and/or real problems and unfairness of 2000...)
        • And hey: if you want to believe that every electronic election is rigged, no matter how eventually open source, now matter how eventualy trackable by paper-trail, etc., be my guest.

          You do realize that none of those terms describes the Diebold system, right?

          Keep in mind that most of the electronic voting solutions were the result of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which was supposed to address the alleged and/or real problems and unfairness of 2000...

          You say that as if federal legislation could never lead to horrible, unforeseen consequences.

        • by archeopterix (594938) on Friday August 17, 2007 @04:22AM (#20258461) Journal

          And hey: if you want to believe that every electronic election is rigged, no matter how eventually open source, now matter how eventualy trackable by paper-trail, etc., be my guest.
          "Every" is a very strong word, but I'd say that it is very hard to get an electronic system right.

          Open source? Sure - but how do I know that the machine is actually running the code I reviewed? Trackable by paper trail? Good, but you need to: 1) let the voters check their part of the paper trail 2) have someone check the paper trail with the electronic record. If you believe that this is not effectively doubling the traditional ballot, then be my guest.

          • I agree. A machine that prints ballots is at worst a waste of money, a machine that counts ballots is at best a waste of money.

            I'm fifty-ish with 20yrs in software development for med-large systems and I seriously don't know what was wrong with manual counting in the first place. Was it too much effort? Too slow? Too much healthy competion and transparency? And as an Aussie I have to ask, why Tuesday?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by dave420 (699308)
          It's not whether every electronic election is rigged that's the problem, but the fact that if one were, we'd never be able to tell. That means the outcome of an election is not definite, which means it's worse than useless. At least with paper votes more folks are included in the counting process, which is performed in public - it's a lot harder to pull off massive election fraud.
      • Not that easy (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Moraelin (679338) on Friday August 17, 2007 @06:03AM (#20258793) Journal
        First of all ATM's don't handle billions of dollars in a transaction. Dunno about those in the USA, but most here are capped at 500 Euro, and your daily limit further caps it.

        Second, an ATM is, by and large, just a slightly more secure terminal to the bank's central computers. It's not the ATM that authorizes your transaction, or transfers the money. It's just a terminal that's networked with a central system. So it's slightly easier to get things right.

        With voting machines, the whole assumption that it must be anonymous, plus the bigger distrust of a single central station that counts everything, screw that assumption up big time. You can't go and transmit "Moraelin voted for the German Anarchistic Pogo Party" (I didn't, but for an easily rememberable example sake) over to other computers.

        Third, the various kinds of bank terminals get numbers wrong more often than you'd think. E.g., the Deutsche Bank fairly recently introduced OCR machines where you can just shove the check in and have it read, so you don't have to type it all. Well, one of the damn machines didn't read the decimal point, so I ended up transferring 100 years worth of fee to my insurance.

        The bank will help you solve such problems, but never claimed that it's 100% bullet-proof and more infallible than the pope.

        Fourth, banks (if their central software is anywhere near well written) have other checks and safeguards.

        E.g., every cent transferred must be a cent that comes from somewhere else. Even if someone maliciously manipulated the software or the database, you have a chance to catch it. If at the end of the month you do the totals and you have money that appeared out of nowhere, or disappeared into nowhere, you can start an investigation.

        Plus it can catch erroneous transfers in the first place. For example my erroneous money transfer should have bounced from the start because most sane people don't have that kind of money in their personal day-to-day account.

        E.g., similarly all the money moves must be accompanied by an entry in the transaction table. If someone's account grew by a million, but the transactions to that account don't add up to +1,000,000$, you can call the cops.

        E.g., you can have other triggers, regardless of whether the transaction is correct or not.

        For example, any incoming money transfer over, say, 10,000$ will automatically trigger an investigation. Ditto if someone suddenly starts getting lots and lots of little transactions. That's mostly against money laundering, but would also catch any error where a bunch of money appears out of nowhere.

        For example, you can have bogus rows in the accounts table, which normally have no reason to be accessed, and are booby-trapped with a trigger. If some DBA comes with such ideas as "I know, let's shave a cent out of each account and add it to mine" or "I know, let's export the names and credit card numbers and sell them to scammers", chances are he'd stumble over such traps. Plus, it would trigger an investigation when a bunch of credit card numbers assigned to such bogus accounts start appearing in transactions.

        Etc.

        All this simply doesn't apply to votes.

        - You don't have to take a vote from somewhere else to assign a vote to Moraelin, like would be the case with money

        - You don't have people checking their balance and asking you to fix the errors. The whole idea of anonymity is that you shouldn't store anywhere stuff like "Moraelin voted for the German Anarchistic Pogo Party". If I can check "wait, did you count my vote for the German Anarchistic Pogo Party?" a month later, then so can someone else. That's another bank safeguard that just doesn't exist.

        - you can't really use any sums as triggers, because everyone gets the same number: 1 vote. Each transaction says exactly the same: "1 vote for party X". So you can't go and say "whoa, we'll investigate all transactions over 10,000".

        - since it's anonymous, you can't check how many transactions each person has, either
        • by CastrTroy (595695)
          A single ATM probably doesn't handle $1 Billion in a day. However, a single voting machine doesn't handle 150 million votes in a day. But, lets say that each person who uses an ATM has a transaction amount of $20 (that's the minimum for most withdrawals). According to >MSNBC [msn.com] there are 370,000 ATMs in the United States. So if each one does 10 transactions a day, then that's 3.7 Million transactions, which makes $74 Million a day (assuming $20 transactions). Or $27 Billion a year. The voting machines o
        • by Sandbags (964742)
          With voting machines, the whole assumption that it must be anonymous
          Well, actually there's no part of the constitution that requires this. Votes are currently anonymous only to protect the voter from scrutiny at the time of casting the vote, or shortly after, by peers, community members, and other influences (even spouses). As long as the general public has no access to this data then this idea can be protected. There's no reason that the vote can't still be tied to a person. Congress does this every
    • Because the money is in making it NOT work right.
    • because it's a different problem.

      With ATMs, both sides of the transaction get to audit it to make sure that they aren't getting ripped off. With voting, no party gets to audit. If anyone could audit that your vote was cast correctly, then they could also buy votes and audit that the vote was cast as bought, or you boss could just audit that you voted the way that he told you to, or the gang down the street could audit that you voted how they told you to... etc.

      An ATM is a much simpler problem because it i
      • It ought to be possible ( using PGP ) to have the vote counters return to you a code that is your vote encrypted. Only you can decrypt it. If it is not correct, you can go public.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BitchKapoor (732880)

          It ought to be possible ( using PGP ) to have the vote counters return to you a code that is your vote encrypted. Only you can decrypt it. If it is not correct, you can go public.


          No, that's not good enough—even you shouldn't be able to prove you voted a certain way unless the ballot itself is checked. Otherwise the person to whom you sold your vote/who bullied your vote out of you can just ask for your encrypted vote code.


          • by Skreems (598317)
            There are ways around that. If you were really worried about extortion being a problem, you could allow people to generate an indistinguishable "fake" vote receipt which would indicate a vote other than your actual one. The real problem is, they can track your vote and return to you what you entered, but it's still not proof that the vote you cast makes it into the final tally.
          • by belmolis (702863)

            You could set it up so that it took two keys to decrypt, your own and the auditor's. You wouldn't be able to reveal your vote to an extortionist, only to the auditor.

          • by AndersOSU (873247)
            Would it be possible to build a system where you first vote as normal, and enter a decryption code. The machine then asks you if you want a secondary false decryption key. If you answer yes, you enter the votes you want the false decryption key to return.

            This way, you can verify your vote with the real decryption key, and if your vote has been coerced or sold you can show that person what they want to see.
    • by eh2o (471262) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:18AM (#20257693)
      Diebold obtained the voting system through an acquisition. The system was created from the ground up by a completely different team, and thus no connection to the ATM guys. In fact many of the transgressions had already taken place at the time of buyout, it just was not well known yet.

      Independent review (of the leaked source code) concluded that the code base was of shockingly low quality, lacking in many basic principles of secure and defensive design, most likely written by programmers with very little training. Unfortunately this didn't stop it from being election-ready certified, which I imagine is where the real value was for Diebold.

      Unfortunately, as any decent coder knows, a huge mess of spaghetti code is nearly impossible to fix short of a complete rewrite, which is probably why the system hasn't gotten any better since then.
      • by jamstar7 (694492)

        Independent review (of the leaked source code) concluded that the code base was of shockingly low quality, lacking in many basic principles of secure and defensive design, most likely written by programmers with very little training. Unfortunately this didn't stop it from being election-ready certified, which I imagine is where the real value was for Diebold.

        Unfortunately, as any decent coder knows, a huge mess of spaghetti code is nearly impossible to fix short of a complete rewrite, which is probably why

    • Why can't they have the people who make there ATMs work on the voting systems?

      The elections machines have been subjected to numerous public tests, the results of which are available to everyone. The ATMs have not. We are told that the ATMs are dependable and secure, but I don't think we really know and I haven't seen much from the banking industry that implies that they are somehow all that much more sophisticated computer security wise than anyone else.

      I believe the main reason that ATMs aren't a security
      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        Not only that, fake ATMs have been set up to steal people's account number and PIN. Really there should be some sort of challenge-response smart card for your banking card that won't return the account number to machines which can't prove they are authentic.
    • Money.

      Seriously, they make a lot of revenue from their ATM business; banks can afford to pay handsomely for them, since #1) they're banks and have lots of money (mostly ours), and #2) ATMs generate revenue for them (that $2 you pay a competitor's bank when you use your ATM.)

      The voting machines, on the other hand, make very little money for them, since towns, counties, states, etc generally don't have enough money to make the voting machines profitable when they're sold. So there's two things going on: Die
  • Good idea. (Score:2, Funny)

    by WK2 (1072560)
    Got caught sleeping on the job? Producing crap? Everybody hates you? Have a bad reputation? Change your name! Maybe some people will think you are a new company.
  • Why did Diebold get sidelined after it made a bad product, and couldn't get out of the bad reputation, while Microsoft also makes bad products, and people can't get enough of it, and MS hardly try to change its name!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pembo13 (770295)
      Microsoft has a stronger marketing department.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by grasshoppa (657393)
      It's a difference of audience. Diebold sells to the government, who hates it when the public points out that it's getting raped by a private contractor.

      MS is aimed at corporations, who are top heavy with clueless idiots. You can point out the obvious to them, and they will blindly keep doing whatever it is they were doing, even if it tanks the company. Afterwards, they will be hired by another company to do the exact same thing over again, only they will get paid WAAAAY more this time around.
    • Because the voting machines run Linux. Just imagine what a Beowulf cluster of these...aw forget it. I must be new here.
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:21PM (#20257021)
    doesn't change it into chocolate cake!
  • Dems: D'oh! Lost another one to Diebold!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:29PM (#20257063)
    we need to brainstorm some, how about

    - Guaranteed Result Election Systems

    - Early and Often Voting Machines

    - DPV (Dead People Vote) Solutions

    - NTSC (Never Twice the Same Count) Electionware
  • "Apparently their rebranding effort only goes so far."

    Politicians want to know what they're buying when they buy an election. They KNOW Diebold can deliver the votes!

  • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe (550052) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:30PM (#20257073)
    This seems like just the opening that an "open" company would need to really turn the US upside-down. The failure to sell the business unit means people are scared of being associated with the closed-source voting mess. Even if the security problems are really accidental, in the current climate, you'd be hard pressed to get anyone to believe you.

    At a crossroads like this, an OSS company could just step right in and take over the whole election software market. If some OSS platform were successful here, there'd be no competition from closed source platforms after that. OSS voting forever after. I know that "open" means never having to rely on a single source (if you don't want to), but a great hardware solution coupled with all open source code would make one (or a few) companies really pop.

    I have not been looking too hard for OSS voting machines myself, so maybe they're already out there. In that case, they just need some PR so that they're visible to the general population.

    Redhat? Ubuntu? Where are you?... Here's your opportunity...
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ozmanjusri (601766)
      I have not been looking too hard for OSS voting machines myself, so maybe they're already out there. In that case, they just need some PR so that they're visible to the general population.

      Yep, it's been used over here, and runs on Linux live CDs. http://www.softimp.com.au/evacs/index.html [softimp.com.au]

      There's a Wired article here: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/11/61 045 [wired.com]

    • by Mr. Roadkill (731328) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:19AM (#20257389)

      I know that "open" means never having to rely on a single source (if you don't want to), but a great hardware solution coupled with all open source code would make one (or a few) companies really pop.
      Paradoxically, one key benefactor of any such move may well be Diebold themselves. Forget for a moment how badly they screwed the pooch with their voting hardware and software, and think for a moment about that other great area of expertise of theirs - Automated Teller Machines. In general, that kind of machine is tamper-resistant and tamper-evident. They could *really* clean up as hardware manufacturers and systems integrators for a quality e-voting system based around open-source software and high-quality proprietary hardware, if they can hide the stench of their previous offerings.

      Another group of companies who are ideally positioned to benefit from this are gaming machine manufacturers. In fact, since ATMs probably aren't as open to government scrutiny and regulation as your average video poker machine is, the gaming machine manufacturing industry is probably *better* positioned to comply with government regulation and produce a tamper-resistant system than Diebold is, and could probably fairly easily adapt one of their gaming platforms to the purpose - you sign in, you get a card to insert in the machine (good for one "voting credit"), you make and review your choices, you collect the machine-punched verification card and "voting card" and deposit both in the appropriate boxes on the way out (with the punched "ballot paper" really only being for verification and tamper-control purposes). Forget the privacy concerns - the voting cards needn't be traceable to any particular individual, and could be constantly re-coded with one-time-use "voting-credit-numbers" as they're recycled during the course of the day - and since the paper electoral rolls won't have timestamps on them, there'll be no way to tie the time of use of a particular voting-credit to a particular voter. To me, this almost seems natural and self-evident, and I'd be very surprised if there weren't gaming companies considering either doing this themselves or spinning off subsidiaries to do this themselves.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:37PM (#20257113)
    "Wherever Diebold and ES&S go, irregularities and historic Republican upsets follow. Alastair Thompson, writing for scoop.co of New Zealand, explored whether or not the 2002 U.S. mid-term elections were fixed by electronic voting machines supplied by Republican-affiliated companies. The scoop investigation concluded that: The state where the biggest upset occurred, Georgia, is also the state that ran its election with the most electronic voting machines. Those machines were supplied by Diebold." From Diebold, Electronic Voting and the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy
    by Bob Fitrakis.

    Link: http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0225-05.htm [commondreams.org]

    More: " (Bev) Harris writes that the hacked documents expose how the mainstream media reversed their call projecting Al Gore as winner of Florida after someone subtracted 16,022 votes from Al Gore, and in still some undefined way, added 4000 erroneous votes to George W. Bush. Hours later, the votes were returned. One memo from Lana Hires of Global Election Systems, now Diebold, reads: I need some answers! Our department is being audited by the County. I have been waiting for someone to give me an explanation as to why Precinct 216 gave Al Gore a minus 16,022 [votes] when it was uploaded. Another hacked internal memo, written by Talbot Iredale, Senior VP of Research and Development for Diebold Election Systems, documents unauthorized replacement votes in Volusia County.

    Harris also uncovered a revealing 87-page CBS news report and noted, According to CBS documents, the erroneous 20,000 votes in Volusia was directly responsible to calling the election for Bush. The first person to call the election for Bush was Fox election analyst John Ellis, who had the advantage of conferring with his prominent cousins George W. Bush and Florida Governor Jeb Bush."

    And: "Documents illustrate that the Reagan and Bush administration supported computer manipulation in both Noriegas rise to power in Panama and in Marcos attempt to retain power in the Philippines."

    Two words: crooked casino.
    • The last member of the executive branch whose party _wasn't_ accused of fixing the vote by the whiny losing party was named George.

      Not Washington. George III of England.

      Just sayin'. Most likely they're all fixed, or none of them are. I'm guessing both.
  • by WarlockD (623872) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:42PM (#20257151)
    "Vote once, count many!"
  • by beadfulthings (975812) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @11:56PM (#20257251) Journal
    If you call a tail a leg, how many legs has a dog?
    Five?
    No, calling a tail a leg don't make it a leg. - Abraham Lincoln

    They can call their "system" whatever they want to. It'll still be bad news.
  • Premiere Election Solutions AKA Piece of Electronic Shit
  • Voting machines as they are are pretty much as good as they can get. There is no way a Compuiter could ever be trusted to do exactly what it is expected to do, and no way to be 100% sure it has not been tempered with. Those machines will always be unfit for public voting. As a voter I have several rights that a machine can never provide. I'm guaranteed by law that my vote is secret. But it has been shown that the electromagnetic radiation of voting machines can be measured accurately enough to draw some co
    • by Phroggy (441)
      Sorry, but you're completely wrong: purely electronic voting machines can get slightly better by making sure the source code is publicly available and there are security measures in place to make sure it can't be tampered with, but most people who know what they're talking about don't want a purely electronic system. We want an electronic voting machine that prints out a paper ballot, then a completely different machine which scans, counts and stores paper ballots. That's what PES née Diebold have b
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sigmalmtd (887400)
      I don't really know how to respond to this, other than that I am disappointed for your lack of open-mindedness towards voting machines. Electronic voting technology is an active area of research: See http://accurate-voting.org/ [accurate-voting.org] for one example. Are voting machines fit for general use now? Absolutely not. But they continue to get better, as more and more research is being devoted to this hot topic.

      All of the issues that you discussed can be subverted with better software, and more secure hardware. For i
      • by goombah99 (560566)

        I don't really know how to respond to this, other than that I am disappointed for your lack of open-mindedness towards voting machines. Electronic voting technology is an active area of research: See http://accurate-voting.org/ [accurate-voting.org] for one example.

        Which is why you won't ever understand. If someone qualified to post to slashdot feels that way, what does that tell you about Joe Voter? THey simply will never trust these till many generations have come and gone. It's about trust and transparency not mathematical formulas and perfect equipment. It simply matters not how "provably" correct the research gets. There's always going to be close upset elections that defy polls--else there would be no reason to have elections--and when that happens people

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by RudeIota (1131331)

      As a voter I have several rights that a machine can never provide. I'm guaranteed by law that my vote is secret.

      Actually, you aren't even guaranteed the right to vote , let alone your vote be kept secret .

      Believe it or not, the U.S. constitution allows government to deny your right to vote, as long as it is not based on your race or slave status.

      There have been numerous amendments since (such as women's right to vote), but you're still not guaranteed an irrefutable right to. For example, Texas law den

      • And of course... (Score:2, Interesting)

        by RudeIota (1131331)
        This isn't taking in consideration state laws, in which your state may may specifically define what you mentioned.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by quitte (1098453)
        wow. another reason I'm glad not to be a U.S. citizen. It keeps amazing me how the U.S. lacks so many of what I consider core democratic rights.
    • by beakerMeep (716990) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:45AM (#20257829)
      I think we need to rebrand the discussion. What we need is computer assisted voting. Basically, the touch screen just provides an interface where the computer prints out your ballot which you review for accuracy and deposit in the ballot box. Later, ballots can be counted by hand or some type of scan-tron. Tabulations can be kept in both machines and in the event of mismatches, the paper ballot is recounted providing the official count (or if the numbers are far enough off, a re-vote). The scanning process could be observed and run at such a speed that humans can watch the count in real time and with enough people watching the possibility of count errors going undetected would approach 0. This would take care of most of your concerns about magic happening behind the screen. Nevertheless, the source code should still be freely available.

      It's not a perfect system but it provides the basis for a system that's pretty much on par with paper. That is, the problems with election fraud we would see would be the same types of problems paper ballots suffer from (ie people voting twice, someone stealing a ballot box, some poll running out of paper).

      This is what is in the draft proposal for New York State voting machines (among many other requirements regarding privacy and the disabled etc). But I only found this out recently by clicking on a signature from a slashdot poster. I encourage everyone to take a few minutes and visit http://www.blackboxvoting.org/ [blackboxvoting.org] and check what sort of voting machines your state has, is testing, or is thinking about getting.

      Also, for those new yorkers out there, you may want to visit this page [state.ny.us] about the testing underway for NYS eletronic voting machines for 2008.
      • Diebold already made a "computer assisted voting" system.

        That's what people are complaining about ;).

        Seriously though, technically it's an easy problem to solve - the USA has plenty of smart people who can build practical solutions.

        The real problem is the US Gov would prefer to be the one to decide who gets to be the next US Gov and do whatever it takes, just like they prefer to decide who gets to be the next Iraqi Gov.
      • by will_die (586523)
        Logically idea, however if you read most of the complaints here on slashdot and other progressive dominated sites the big worry is that manufacturers are placing code in the computers and changing votes. With that setup you have two places where that can happen.
        Meanwhile back in the real world, the problems you had in Florida, and what caused all theses changes, was human based. Bad ballot design and people not following the instructions of the machines such as emptying the punched chat holders. Even th
    • by dbIII (701233)
      No. India had simple and cheap machines that worked. They didn't have the stupidity of networking, overly complex systems and machines that could hold many thousands of votes that could be added by a single theif. Their machines were built to be like ballot boxes - anybody that wanted to do a decent job of ballot stuffing would have to steal hundreds of them just like the ones that hold paper. They have to be opened up one at a time and added up by observers from several parties that do not trust each o
  • "Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken!"
  • Back in the day, rebranding would get you hanged for a livestock thief.

    All I can say is: Die Boldly, Diebold...the sooner the better. I'm tired of 'running iron' elections being acceptable.
    Hang 'em high, and dry!
  • Surprising (Score:5, Funny)

    by Absolut187 (816431) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:21AM (#20257401) Homepage
    I'm surprised that Diebold is having trouble.
    According to Wikipedia, Diebold machines perform flawlessly with impenetrable security.
    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/08/14/145322 3 [slashdot.org]

  • Diebold apparently believes that you can polish a turd.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by freedom_india (780002)
      Spraying Britney Perfume on a turd does not hide its smell.
      Rebranding was a crime in early 1800s. It should be a crime today and Diebold criminally convicted on livestock rebranding.

  • by Wuhao (471511) on Friday August 17, 2007 @12:37AM (#20257493)
    This was not a strategy to get the voting machines back into play in the places which rejected them. Diebold is a very old company going back into the 19th century, and was until relatively recently a very well established and trusted name in security equipment. The Diebold Elections Systems division has not only failed to produce reliable products, but has garnered enormous bad press which has reflected extremely negatively upon that name. Regardless of what their true motives are with Diebold Election Systems, I think everyone can see why any rational executive at Diebold would see the need to protect the Diebold name. A good name is one of the greatest assets a company in any industry can have, and especially so in security, where trust comes grudgingly. If Diebold seems incompetent, possibly malicious, with its election systems, why would you, the bank manager, trust them to build your ATM machines?

    Calling them Premier Election Systems does not undo the damage that's been done, but it does help deflect future damages. Any attempt to recertify the machines under the new name is probably something they still would have done under the old name.

    That doesn't make the machines any less awful. It doesn't absolve Diebold of the responsibility for what it has done, nor does it mean that their ATM machines are any more trustworthy now. If I were the bank manager, I probably still would not buy their machines. But, if we are going to criticize the company for its incompetence, let us at least criticize them for the incompetencies which they demonstrate -- not ones which we misinterpret into their strategies.
    • I'll agree with just about everything you say, but I'll remind you of this:

      Long ago, people were scared of "NutraSweet" because of some series of news stories and bad press. So they took the label off of the foods that contain it... just the label though. It's still there. Just look for "aspartame" in the ingredients list.
      • by quizzicus (891184)

        Long ago, people were scared of "NutraSweet" because of some series of news stories and bad press. So they took the label off of the foods that contain it... just the label though. It's still there. Just look for "aspartame" in the ingredients list.
        If I recall correctly, the "NutraSweet" label was removed because the patent on NutraSweet expired in 1992, and if you switched to another producer, they (obviously) didn't want you using their trademark.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by erroneus (253617)
          That's not only misleading, but VERY misleading. Brand names, especially very successful brand names, do not get removed just because a patent expires. NutraSweet Company is still an active, profitable and majority supplier of aspartame. They have every incentive to put the brand on foods that contain it...except that people know to avoid the red and white twirl mark just as readily as they avoid the jolly roger symbol that mark poisons.
    • If Diebold seems incompetent, possibly malicious, with its election systems, why would you, the bank manager, trust them to build your ATM machines? Because Diebold did not break the golden rule that says who can fuck with and who you can't.
  • by Demerara (256642) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:33AM (#20257759) Homepage
    [CEO] Hmmm, sales of "Turd" have dropped off severely...

    [Marketing Guy] Let's rebrand.

    [CEO] Ok, what do you suggest?

    [Marketing Guy] How about "Blossom" ... ? ...

    [CEO] I love it. Lets run with that...

  • by posterlogo (943853) on Friday August 17, 2007 @01:40AM (#20257797)
    Never forget, the Diebold CEO is a major contributor to Bush. This is the man who said "I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president" during the last campaign presidential, and incredible statement from someone who makes voting machines.


    They will rebrand, reorganize, etc., but in the end, don't forget their loyalty is to one political party. That is where the lobbying money goes, so you know who to blame whenever there's an e-voting fiasco.

  • The Gator^H^H^H^H^HClaria business plan.

  • TSX is already the name of an operating system for the DEC PDP-11. According to the distributor (who is still around and still providing support), the name is trademarked.
  • Have they raised prices? I mean elections are already costing a couple of hundred million. If we wind up with a Hilary/Obama ticket on the Democratic side how much with Diebold charge the Republicans to win this time around? We could be talking some serious election time inflation. If hacker/Linus nuts really want to show their support for open source they need to hack into Diebold and get Linus Torvalds elected President. Sure he's not a native born American citizen but that's a truly great hack, get some
  • Perhaps then can open-source it and just produce and sell the hardware?

    Yeah, right, like that's gonna happen!
  • I have never really understood the idea behind the automatic counting or automated voting system.

    Here in Serbia, where we had a lot of problems with the elections, the voting itself and counting are the least problem. We had exactly the same problem as USA (i.e. corrupted legal system) but the voting procedure itself was never an issue.

    Manual counting takes only couple of hours even for the largest poll stations. Summing the results takes exactly the same time everywhere. Time for summing the results is so
    • by Dr. Evil (3501)

      The Americans vote for a lot of other dumb things on their ballots. It's a stupid process. The whole thing needs to be overhauled.

      http://www.danbricklin.com/log/sampleballot.htm

    • I believe the driving force behind electronic ballots are (1) lower the amount of time it takes to post the unofficial election results, (2) eliminate any evidence that a vote has been tampered, and (3) make it impossible to have a recount.

      When it comes to counting speed we need to remember that it's not official until the meeting of the electoral college (if my memory serves me right) which meets in December (41 days from the election). This need for speed is solely for the news industry's benefit. Every

  • If something doesn't work right...change the name. It sounds bad to say we kidnapped people and kept them in secret prisons. "Extraordinary rendition" sounds so much more pleasant.

  • and hope the people you sell it to and feeble-minded and have no memory or sense of smell.

    I wouldn't use that system to elect a Girl Guide to the Cookie Fundraiser.

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