by Mike Masnick / Techdirt / Fri, Aug 22nd 2008
Consider me to be in a state of shock. For nearly half a decade Diebold has always responded in the identical way to every single report of a problem or security vulnerability with its e-voting machines: attacking those who pointed out the problem and claiming it really wasn’t a problem at all. This has happened time and time again that I’m not even sure how to react when the company (renamed Premier to get away from the Diebold name stigma) has finally admitted that its machines have a flaw that drops votes. Oops. It’s warning 34 states that use the machines of the problem which was highlighted in the lawsuit Ohio filed against Premiere/Diebold. Not only that, but it’s admitting the flaw in the software has been in the software for the past decade.
So, uh, why was the company blaming anti-virus software just a couple months ago?
It should also make us question Premier/Diebold’s longstanding claim that independent outsiders should not be allowed to inspect its machines for problems. Of course, Diebold execs are already downplaying all of this, claiming that they were “confident” that this hadn’t actually impacted any elections, though they offer no proof of that. The company’s president admits he’s “distressed” that they were wrong in their previous analysis, but he fails to explain why the company is so against letting outsides inspect the machines to avoid such flaws. In the meantime, the company insists that the problem will be patched in time for the November election, and I’m sure we’re all confident that there won’t be any other problems with their machines, right?