Note: Many of the internal links are broken.
Voting machine companies should understand that they are as much in the integrity business as the vote counting business. Yet they do not behave as such, and bring some elections officials into this culture of corruption. The case of Diebold is the best known, but not the only example:
- Attorney Andi Novick Tells NY Officials Why The Vendors Lack Integrity (7/07),
- Voting System Companies Fail to Meet New York State’s Requirements for “Responsible Contractors” (7/07, 20 pgs)
- and download and read chapter 8 of Black Box Voting by Bev Harris.
When Diebold Elections Systems was Global Election Systems it was run by three crooks who were convicted of stock fraud.
Worse, they made a convicted computer embezzler, Jeffery Dean, senior vice president. He helped program ballot scanners Diebold is selling today. (court docs (PDF, 8.6 MB), more docs (PDF, 1.3 MB), testimony, background, news article, more info)
When Diebold bought GES, they kept John Elder as an employee. They have not yet answered the serious question of whether or not Jeffery Dean was hired as a consultant.
In keeping with tradition, Diebold proceeded to lie to California officials, forcing the Secretary of State to decertify Diebold’s AccuVote-TSx Voting System in April of 2004.
In 2003, CEO Wally O’Dell wrote a fund raising letter promising to deliver Ohio’s votes to George Bush. (Newspaper article)
Over the years, Diebold has continued to misrepresent their products to gullible (or corrupt) elections officials, and ITA testers.
Some of these companies are owned by foreign companies in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands (Sequoia).
All of these companies are promising more than they can deliver.
For more background on these companies, read:
There is a fundamental conflict between a company’s right to its secrets, and the public’s absolute right to know how its elections are conducted. The public cannot have confidence in secret code written by convicted embezzlers for party hacks. The public must be able to see to computer code that is actually counting its votes.
In the extreme example of inaccurate numbers appearing in Alaska in November of 2004, Diebold fought against the public inspecting computerized ballots that are public property.
The private ownership problem can be solved, but it requires the political backbone to put the interests of the United States ahead of those of stockholders. This means requiring the owners to open up their hardware and software for public inspection.