05/01/2004: Yowza! An excellent decision.....
though it should have happened earlier. From the AP: California Bans E-Voting in Four Counties, Calls for Criminal Investigation Into Company
The state's top elections official called for a criminal investigation of Diebold Election Systems Inc. as he banned use of the company's newest model touchscreen voting machine, citing concerns about its security and reliability.
Friday's ban will force up to 2 million voters in four counties, including San Diego, to use paper ballots in November, marking their choices in ovals read by optical scanners.
Secretary of State Kevin Shelley asked the attorney general's office to investigate allegations of fraud, saying Diebold had lied to state officials. A spokesman for Attorney General Bill Lockyer said prosecutors would review Shelley's claims.
In 10 other counties, Shelley decertified touchscreen machines but set 23 conditions under which they still could be used. That order involved 4,000 older machines from Diebold and 24,000 from its three rivals.
The decision follows the recommendations of a state advisory panel, which conducted hearings earlier this month.
Made just six months before a presidential election, the decision reflects growing concern about paperless electronic voting.
A number of failures involving touchscreen machines in Georgia, Maryland and California have spurred serious questioning of the technology. As currently configured, the machines lack paper records, making recounts impossible.
"I anticipate his decision will have an immediate and widespread impact," said Kim Alexander, president of the California Voter Foundation and a frequent critic of the machines. "California is turning away from e-voting equipment, and other states are sure to follow."
A state investigation released this month said Diebold jeopardized the outcome of the March election in California with computer glitches, last-minute changes to its systems and installations of uncertified software in its machines in 17 counties.
The really scary thing though? Diebold makes ATMS.
You might want to watch your money carefully.
Len on 05.01.04 @ 02:32 PM CST