April 23, 2004

California should ban the use of 15,000 touch-screen voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems from the Nov. 2 general election, an advisory panel to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended Thursday

Remember, 2+2=4. If the Bush cabal is allowed to say
that 2+2=5, than the US Constitution and the
democratically elected government it guarantees us is
finished. 2+2=4. Read Orwell, check on your voter
registration, encourage your friends to do the same.
Get out the vote in November. Our best hope is that
the turnout and the majority vote in this national
referendum on the CHARACTER, CREDIBILITY and
COMPETENCE of the incredibly shrinking _resident is so
overwhelming that there is no ambiguity to be
exploited...

Jim Wasserman, Associated Press: California should ban the use of 15,000 touch-screen voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems from the Nov. 2 general election, an advisory panel to Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended Thursday. By an 8-0 vote, the state's Voting Systems and
Procedures Panel recommended that Shelley cease the
use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold
has performed poorly in California and its machines
malfunctioned in the state's March 2 primary election,
turning away many voters in San Diego County.

Thwart the Theft of a Second US Presidential Election, Show Up for Democracy in
2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

URL:
sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi file=/news/archive/2004/04/22/financial1458EDT0107.DTL

Don't use Diebold touch-screen voting machines
JIM WASSERMAN, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, April 22, 2004
2004 Associated Press


(04-22) 18:17 PDT SACRAMENTO (AP) --

California should ban the use of 15,000 touch-screen
voting machines made by Diebold Election Systems from
the Nov. 2 general election, an advisory panel to
Secretary of State Kevin Shelley recommended Thursday.


By an 8-0 vote, the state's Voting Systems and
Procedures Panel recommended that Shelley cease the
use of the machines, saying that Texas-based Diebold
has performed poorly in California and its machines
malfunctioned in the state's March 2 primary election,
turning away many voters in San Diego County.

The recommendation affects 15,000 Diebold touch-screen
machines in San Diego, Solano, Kern and San Joaquin
counties.

Thousands more machines made by Diebold and other
manufacturers in 10 other counties are unaffected,
although the panel is to make a recommendation
regarding them next Wednesday.

The panel's decision has national implications for the
voting machine maker, coming as states plan to spend
billions of dollars to upgrade election equipment in
the wake of the disputed 2000 presidential election in
Florida.

If Shelley follows through with the recommendation,
the affected counties would have to revert to paper
ballots, specifically those marked by filling in ovals
which are read by electronic scanners. The prospects
of starting anew just months before a presidential
election prompted outcries from more than a dozen
voting officials statewide who would have to buy
voting booths, ballot boxes, marking supplies, card
readers and more scanners while retraining poll
workers.

"We sold all of our voting booths to Los Angeles
County. We sold our surplus card readers to smaller
counties," said Riverside County Registrar of Voters
Mischelle Townsend, who estimated costs of reverting
to paper at $2.5 million.

Diebold was disappointed and disagreed with the
recommendation, said its marketing director, Mark
Radke. The company will quickly write a report
outlining its objections to Shelley, who has until
April 30 to make a final decision.

The vote doesn't affect thousands of Diebold optical
scan machines that read marked ballot cards in 17
counties. Nor does it affect an earlier generation of
4,000 Diebold touch-screen machines in Alameda and
Plumas counties.

In addition to the ban, panel members recommended that
a secretary of state's office report released
Wednesday, detailing alleged failings of Diebold in
California, be forwarded to the state attorney
general's office to consider civil and criminal
charges against the company.

Diebold Election Systems is an affiliate of Ohio-based
Diebold, Inc., a leading ATM machine maker supplying
banks in North and South America.

Panel member Marc Carrel, an assistant secretary of
state, said he was "disgusted" by Diebold, which has
"been jerking us around." The company, he said, has
disenfranchised voters in California and undermined
confidence in the new and developing technology of
touch-screen voting.

Local elections officials in Kern, San Diego and San
Joaquin counties, which use Diebold's newest
touch-screen machines said they were surprised and
confused.

"I don't understand how they can say they didn't work
well," said San Joaquin County Registrar of Voters
Debbie Hench, who argued that the county's March
election was largely problem free. The county bought
1,626 Diebold touch-screen machines for $5.7 million.

This decision will be a "step backward" for Kern
County, said Registrar of Voters Ann Barnett, who
bought 1,350 Diebold touch-screen machines for $5
million.

San Diego County Registrar of Voters Sally McPherson
said the county spent almost $30 million for its
10,200 Diebold machines and officials there "believe
in touch screens. We were prepared to move forward."

A secretary of state's report on the March 2 elections
found that 573 of 1,038 polling places in San Diego
County failed to open on time because Diebold voting
machines malfunctioned. Voters were told to go
elsewhere or come back.

Regardless of what happens in California, the head of
Diebold Inc. told shareholders Thursday that the
company is not considering getting out of the
elections business.

Chairman and CEO Walden W. O'Dell told reporters after
an annual shareholders meeting that "we will help in
California if we are allowed. If we are not, we won't.
I think whatever goes on in California is separate
from what goes on in other states. Each state will
make their own decisions."

O'Dell said the North Canton, Ohio-based company
remains confident the machines are safe and secure.

California panel members, however, cited a litany of
alleged problems with Diebold in recent months,
including its sale of machines to the four counties
without federal and state certification, last-minute
software fixes before the March election and
installation of uncertified software in voting
machines in 17 counties.

"In my view we need a clean slate with this vendor,"
said panel member John Mott-Smith, chief of the
state's elections division. "Most of the big problems
in the March election came with Diebold equipment.
People did not get to vote because these things did
not function and that's not acceptable."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the Net:
Diebold Election Systems: www.diebold.com/dieboldes/

Read the bills to ban paperless electronic voting this
November, SB 530 and SB1723, at www.legislature.ca.gov


California Secretary of State: www.ss.ca.gov

True Majority: www.truemajority.org

2004 Associated Press


Posted by richard at April 23, 2004 12:47 PM