May 30, 2024

Diebold Misled Officials about Certification

Diebold Election Systems knowingly used uncertified software in California elections, despite warnings from its lawyers that doing so was illegal and might subject the company to criminal sanctions and decertification in California, according to Ian Hoffman’s story in the Oakland Tribune.

The story says that Diebold made false representations about certification to state officials:

The drafts [of letters to the state] show [Diebold’s lawyers] staked out a firm position that a critical piece of Diebold’s voting system – its voter-card encoders – didn’t need national or state approval because they were commercial-off-the-shelf products, never modified by Diebold.

But on the same day the letter was received, Diebold-hired techs were loading non-commercial Diebold software into voter-card encoders in a West Sacramento warehouse for shipment to Alameda and San Diego counties.

Many of these encoders failed on election day, causing voters to be turned away from the polls in San Diego and Alameda Counties.

This brings Diebold one step closer to being decertified in California:

“Diebold may suffer from gross incompetence, gross negligence. I don’t know whether there’s any malevolence involved,” said a senior California elections official who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I don’t know why they’ve acted the way they’ve acted and the way they’re continuing to act. Notwithstanding their rhetoric, they have not learned any lessons in terms of dealing with this secretary (of state).”

California voting officials will discuss Diebold’s behavior at a two-day hearing that starts today.

[link via Dan Gillmor]