diebold

Bad News for Challengers to Diebold Certification

Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand has ruled against the EFF in its bid to stop Diebold and others from selling voting equiptment in the state. The challengers had claimed that the certification of the firms was illegal because the firms were not willing to follow the transparency laws of the state. Oh well, there are always appeals.

Background here. Story here.

Diebold Rejected Again, This Time in Vance County

First it was Forsyth, now it is Vance. Two county election boards have turned down Diebold. Vance's concerns seem to be more with the lawsuits filed against the company for securities fraud and other litigation. From the Daily Dispatch (link):

Vance County's Board of Elections unanimously recommended the purchase Thursday of an optical-scan voting system from Election Systems & Software of Omaha, Neb.

That was partly because North Carolina elections officials eventually narrowed down the possible choices to four systems from two companies: ES&S and Diebold Election Systems of North Canton, Ohio. Each company offers an optical-scan and a direct-recording-electronic system that is certified by the state Board of Elections. (A third potential vendor, Sequoia, was denied permission this week to sell equipment in North Carolina, The News & Observer reported Thursday.)

Diebold Rejected by Forsyth County Election Board

Apparently, Diebold can muscle through the State Board of Elections despite not following North Carolina law, but Forsyth County is able to stand up to them. Citing citizen concern over the accuracy of touch-screen voting, the Board chose an optical scan machine instead, which has a paper trail, less vulnerable to being hacked, and costs half as much incidently. The company anticipating the contract, Diebold. From the Winston-Salem Journal:

The Forsyth County Board of Elections decided yesterday to recommend that county commissioners buy voting machines that scan paper ballots instead of buying touch-screen machines that record votes electronically.

The board did recommend buying some electronic touch-screen machines but only for use at handicapped-accessible voting stations.

Let the Lawsuits Begin: State Sued Over Illegal Certification of Diebold

In an earlier post, I talked about the State certifying Diebold voting machines despite the fact that Diebold would not disclose their source code as required by North Carolina law. Now the Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued the Board of Elections to make them follow the law, which was passed to ensure the security of votes cast on electronic voting machines. From EFF:

"This is about the rule of law," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment."

(EFF's press release is here)
I am going to watch this closely. But it is sad that an outside group has to sue to get the Board of Elections to follow the law.

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