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394 comments

20 second fp biatch (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184508)

haw

Just hope he doesn't have the case in Florida... (5, Funny)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184509)


Or the jury will have to count their votes ten times.

Re:Just hope he doesn't have the case in Florida.. (1)

Paster Of Muppets (787158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184532)

Hopefully not using those electronic voting machines...

Re:Just hope he doesn't have the case in Florida.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184625)

Yeah, hopefully before it gets there, the California administration will step in and sue this company into oblivion. With the company being "terminated", we have less of chance of a Bush/Gore fiasco raising its ugly head and saying "I'll be back".

(Couldn't think of any retarded references to Junior, Predator, etc.)

Re:Just hope he doesn't have the case in Florida.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184535)

We the jury, find the defendant, to be DENNIS.

Mod Parent +5 funny (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184569)

Paren't isn't a troll

Re:Just hope he doesn't have the case in Florida.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184708)

So there's hope. Maybe the US will get a democracy some day. And less war. And less unemployed. And civilisation.

What He Really Oughta Said (4, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184892)

Or the jury will have to count their votes ten times.

You misunderstand...

"Lockyer determined sufficient evidence existed to go forward with a false claims lawsuit against Diebold," the statement said. The state's top lawyer earlier had dropped a criminal investigation of Diebold.

It's an electon year, right? Even if he's not up for re-election, it's the natural behavior of a politician.

To whit:

Diebold Vice President Thomas Swidarski said in a statement that the company was pleased Lockyer dropped the probe. Despite Lockyer's decision to sue, the company is "confident that the state's decision to intervene will aid in a fair and dispassionate examination of the issues raised in the case," Swidarski said.

What Swidarski really oughta said, "[the company] is confident that this is a political ploy and will amount to nothing."

A YRO topic?? (3, Insightful)

bob beta (778094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184511)

I thought politics.slashdot.org was just set up for this non-online stuff.

Re:A YRO topic?? (3, Insightful)

echeslack (618016) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184548)

I also think they placed it under the wrong topic, but I think this is just as much a general technology issue as it is about politics. I figure politics.slashdot.org is for actual politics. This is really about technology's role in politics, so it makes sense as general news on this sight. Not sure why it would be under yro though. But a lot of stuff gets put under IT that seems entirely unrelated to IT, so who knows.

politics.slashdot.org is different in a way. (1)

Rolloffle (806330) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184576)

I'm not sure why, but things have been rigged so that the politics section is more like a place to view all political stories from one place. If something is more to do with our rights online, it gets placed here but also appears on politics.slashdot.org. Ditto anything which isn't in the politics section but is in the politics topic. So it's more like a tag to be applied to stories with a political slant than a cage to contain them.

Re:politics.slashdot.org is different in a way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184613)

shouldn't you be trolling?

--sa

Re:A YRO topic?? (3, Insightful)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184585)

Diebold eVoting machines and their various flaws are not really a political topic, rather a technical topic, now the conspiracy theories about handing the election to bush (regardless of merit) may be political, the machines and their (lack of) adoption and use is Tech related.

Re:A YRO topic?? (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184797)

In fact, the CEO of Diebold promises to deliver GWB for president. After he goes to prison for doing so, the next CEO may be a democrat who will then do the same.

Re:A YRO topic?? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10185130)

But if the CEO of Diebold really does deliver the White House to GWB, he won't to to prison... He'll be a Real American Hero, just like Katherine Harris, who delivered the last election to GWB on a silver platter. Hint: Chads were the diversion, erroneously disenfranchised blacks were the election theft.

Re:A YRO topic?? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184641)

I thought politics.slashdot.org was just set up for this non-online stuff.

You're right, the topic has nothing to do with nerd stuff and it obviously doesn't matter. The political sideshow of personal attacks on Shelley, an opponent of election fraud, isn't worth mentioning either. Until everyone can buy government on EBay it simply isn't online enough for consideration by anyone other than patriots.

Re:A YRO topic?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184700)

Isn't the parent actually "flamebait" or "troll"? How did it get "interesting *WHEN IT IS NOT*???

Re:A YRO topic?? (2, Insightful)

Petronius (515525) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185092)

Soon someone will be asking why it's not posted under crazyliberalconspiracytheories.slashdot.org . That's why it needs to be posted on the homepage.

CSLib in anti-GNAA fp action (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184512)

Always ahead, never behind

-- Menace

Boring Called (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184519)

They want this story back.

Greg Louganis called (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184633)

he wants his immunodeficiency virus back.

And then what? (3, Interesting)

JakeThompson1 (808024) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184521)

So they will sue Diebold, win, and use the money to buy more Diebold products? After all, they are probably engaged in some type of "e-vote upgrade" and have already sold their "old" optical/mechanical/etc. machines to "poorer" [not considering the CA budget deficit] states.

Have they considered vendor lock-in?

Re:And then what? (5, Interesting)

nharmon (97591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184552)

Actually, it would be fitting for Diebold to refuse to sell to California.

This would be similiar to when governments began sueing Ford Motor company because their Crown Victoria police cars would explode after being hit in the rear by vehicles traveling at highway speeds. When the state filed charges, Ford stopped selling them cars.

So, this begs the question,...is California still buying diebold machines? Because if they are, then this lawsuit is nothing about ensuring voting integrity.

Re:And then what? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184698)

This would be similiar to when governments began sueing Ford Motor company because their Crown Victoria police cars would explode after being hit in the rear by vehicles traveling at highway speeds. When the state filed charges, Ford stopped selling them cars.

Is there a shortage of other car vendors willing to sell to police forces?

Cars aren't built to take massive damage from behind because it almost never happens (aside from police cars parked on the side of the highway). Besides, there is a trunk between the passengers and rear bumper to provide a crumple zone. This isn't a flaw, it's a design choice.

Being hit from behind is one of the safest possible collisions.

Re:And then what? (1, Offtopic)

cmowire (254489) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184900)

Offtopic but.....

Actually, that's the funny part about police cars. They are very careful about which cars are allowed to do pursuit. It's the Crown Vic and one other.

The problem is that, until very recently, a police car *must* be rear wheel drive. To change that requires a lot of retraining of police officers because all of the RWD stunts don't work anymore.

And, of course, all of the newer cars are front wheel drive, so it's awfully hard in general to convince a car company to make a hotrod RWD sedan *just* for the police market.

So it is an effective lawsuit deterrent.

Re:And then what? (1, Offtopic)

Talez (468021) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185131)

In Australia we have a simple solution.

Our flagship cars are still RWD. The Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore are both RWD and are both Australia's biggest selling large sedans.

They come with engines ranging from 219 (3.6L) V6s to 357 V8s. There was a Holden HSV 427 coming to market but it was dropped.

Re:And then what? (1)

triffidsting (594096) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184740)

Indeed. They will be found guilt, and a fine will be levied. Diebold'll pay with old voting machines. Which are illegal to use now in CA, so they will sit in a warehouse somewhere and gather dust until the cockroaches inherit the earth.

At least old Will Smith CDs are smaller and easier to transport.

Cool! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184522)

Time for Diebold to have their feet held to the fire!

From TFA... (5, Interesting)

nuclear305 (674185) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184525)

"Secretary of State Kevin Shelley has said Diebold deceived California with aggressive marketing that led to the installation of touch-screen voting systems that were not tested or approved nationally or in California."

From the sounds of it, the person(s) involved with authorizing the installation gave in to Diebold's hype without bothering to give system a thourough inspection/review prior to making the decision. In addition to suing Diebold, maybe the AG should be looking for some heads to chop for making a bad situation[company pushing false claims] even worse[installation and failure of product]?

Re:From TFA... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184580)

Maybe Diebold should cowboy the fuck up and accept its responsibility as an aid to the democratic process of the United States of America instead of diddling about as an aid to the Republican Party.

Re:From TFA... (4, Informative)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184775)

Because we all know that Democrats never commit vote fraud. Just ask all the dead people at the polls in chicago ;->

Re:From TFA... (2, Interesting)

Money for Nothin' (754763) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185020)

Agreed Diebold should admit their fault.

Can I be the first to point out the political party affiliation of the governor of California -- namely, a Republican? That same Republican's state govn't pays the salary of the AG.

And the AG is suing Diebold, who are Republican shills.

That should say a lot about:

1) the integrity of that Republican (Schwarzenegger), and

2) the sheer incompetence and shilling performed by Diebold

Re:From TFA... (4, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184582)

Well, since they didn't bother to test the machines, then the state shares in some of the blame.

Mayber caveat emptor doesn't apply to the gov'ment?

more than that. (4, Insightful)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184596)

It is not just the sale of the machine and things on the hype. Diebold also 'repaired' systems using unahthorized/unapproved/untested software and patches.

I think you are asking for a bit much... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184618)

(Gross generalization alert)

What you seek, cannot be. You are asking people in political offices to TAKE RESPONSIBILITIES for their actions, and that just isn't possible in this country.

Problems? Whoooo Booooey! & LINKS! (3, Interesting)

Joe 'Nova' (98613) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184776)

more proof of malfeasance(previous diebold owners running away with elections when behind in polls, etc...)
Politicians [infowars.com]
Halfway down, see ctrl-f rigging [infowars.com]
convicted fellons working for them! [infowars.com]
i don't have an account :( [ajc.com]
Backdoor vote rigging? [alternet.org]

That is a starter list, I'll post more later, just mod the parent up(this one!)

Whose Heads? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184976)

From the sounds of it, the person(s) involved with authorizing the installation gave in to Diebold's hype without bothering to give system a thourough inspection/review prior to making the decision. In addition to suing Diebold, maybe the AG should be looking for some heads to chop for making a bad situation[company pushing false claims] even worse[installation and failure of product]?

Hard for me to tell, who are you refering to? Diebold heads? Innocent state employees caught in the crossfire? Or the stupid shit who failed to understand the concept of 'Due Diligence'?

Oh, and by the way, I know it's not the custom in the political arena, but isn't a leader supposed to take responsibility for the errors of his subordinates?

Re:From TFA... (2, Informative)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185101)

What really surprises me is the last half of what you quoted: "that were not tested or approved nationally or in California."

Who could authorize the move to Diebold's system, the Sec of State? And how the hell did he manage to let a fact like not being approved in his own state slip by? How did the people funding the change not realize it?

Somebody's head should be chopped for that alone, nevermind Diebold's other faults. That is just incompetence as far as I'm concerned, and a basic lack of fact-checking.

Is this the right way to go about it? (-1, Flamebait)

Rolloffle (806330) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184544)

I don't always agree with Diebold's method of operations, but they have always been a good company. They build voting machines which aren't necessarily adequately tested, but then very few ever are. They don't deliberately insert loopholes into their electronic voting systems, and it's only because of relentless pounding that a periodic vulnerability is found.

It isn't right to drag the corporation through the courts just because you have a beef with one of their practices. If Diebold were not an appropriately qualified organisation, California state would have determined that in testing trials and switched to another provider. They aren't the only organisation to provide this civic service.

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184640)

If Diebold were not an appropriately qualified organisation, California state would have determined that in testing trials and switched to another provider. They aren't the only organisation to provide this civic service.


You're assuming that there is a company with a good voting machine package available and the ability to ramp up production quickly. From what I've read, the only reason most states are even looking at these machines are because they're being forced to do so by a stupid, reactionary federal law inspired by the 2000 FL problems. Here in Washington state, our government has been aggressively attacking the voting machine manufacturers because none of them make a good product but we have to buy at least one electronic voting machine per county by either 2006 or 2008 (I forget) or break federal law.

This is a clear case of reactionary legislation mandating solutions worse than the problems.

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184964)

Just because when they made the law they were reacting against an event doesn't make them reactionary [reference.com] . Reactionaries generally react against change. While you may dispute whether this was progress or not, it was at least an attempt to change\fix a problem.

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (5, Insightful)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184696)

Umm, what the fuck planet do you come from. Diebold claimed to have a product that fit the purposes of the state (a secure electronic voting system). They marketed the system as that. The system has been found NOT to be secure, and that they knew it wasn't secure. Claiming a produuct is fit for a purpse when you know it isn't is fraud. They shouldn't just be sued, there should be people in jail over this.

As for not dragging a corporation through the courts because youy have a beef with their practices- thats THE FUCKING PURPOSE OF A COURT SYSTEM. If you think someone is breaking the law, you bring them to court and see if the judge agrees. You think when someone lies about there product and commits fraud, we shouldn't sue their asses for our money back? We sure as hell should.

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (2, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184834)

I could be wrong, but my finely-tuned USENET senses suggest that YHBT. YHL. HAND.

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184930)

How about a helping of STFU & RTFA? Before things get completely FUBAR?

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (-1, Flamebait)

ljavelin (41345) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185010)

Whoa! Hold on there bud. The court system isn't for everything.

Want to sue a doctor? No fucking way! Everyone wants to sue the doctor. Malpractice insurance rates means that entry-level doctor can only take home $150,000/year or so. And just because your the doctor made a little mistake and now your back hurts a little... poor you... wimp.

Doctor suing you because he thinks you owe him more money? Great! That's what the court system is for. He'll burn you with the legal fees alone, and fuck up your credit too! And just because your name is the same as another patient. But you know, the rich suing the poor is OK, because the rich don't sue the poor for the big bucks.

(PS - A good friend of mine is an MD, so I don't want to hear it)

Right... (1)

NEOtaku17 (679902) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185080)

"Claiming a produuct is fit for a purpse when you know it isn't is fraud."

You mean like using a Linux distro as a Key Distribution Center via Kerberos 5 [securityfocus.com] ? "But they said that it was a secure!" Yeah so what. If you sued everyone who had vulnerabilities in their "advertized as secure" software we wouldn't have Mandrakesoft, SUSE, Windows XP, OSX, FreeBSD, etc...

All software has security flaws!

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184860)

> They don't deliberately insert loopholes into their electronic voting systems

How would you know? It's closed-source, trade-secret code.

> and it's only because of relentless pounding that a periodic vulnerability is found.

If you actually bother to read the sordid history of Diebold's voting products, you'll see they've been bug-ridden and insecure from the get-go. Yay for our MS Access-backed product!

"For a demonstration I suggest you fake it. Progam them both so they look the same, and then just do the upload fro [sic] the AV. That is what we did in the last AT/AV demo."

Read the memos at any number of sites, like http://www.hacksonville.org/diebold/ [hacksonville.org]

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (4, Insightful)

cmowire (254489) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184868)

Would you accept a pacemaker that was made by a "good company" that wasn't "necessarily adequately tested"?

Is a voting machine any different than a pacemaker? If a pacemaker fails, you die. Consider that every election features some real whacko candidates. What if voting machines conspired to elect a whacko to presidental office? Do you really want to think how many people would be killed if we a madman in the Whitehouse?

The problem is that Diebold assured the technically inept California voting folks that they were perfectly able to build a good system. And then lied. And have been knowingly breaking the law. And are trying to still profit from this by charging as much as possible for printers so that there is a verifiable paper record of the votes, to fix *their* decided security holes.

I mean, really, do you *know* that they haven't been inserting loopholes? Of course not. There's a variety of ways that they can mess with the machines. We just don't know and, since each voter has neither the ability nor the knowlege to dissassemble their voting machine to ensure that it is properly recording votes, we *can't* know.

Re:Is this the right way to go about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10185043)

If you guys had been paying attention to the GNAA crapfloods and press releases, you'd know that Rolloffle is one of their shock troops. Morans.

California / Business -- Not a good combo (-1, Flamebait)

dsk052 (230739) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184547)

Man I would never and I mean never, open up shop in California! Whatever their state moto is, it should be changed to the "The Sue me State!"

FLAME ME BABY FLAME ME!!

Re:California / Business -- Not a good combo (2, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184817)

changed to the "The Sue me State!"

Not really. Just do not try to pull a scam. They will nail you. There were a number of real reasons why Enron was located in Texas and not all of them had to do with Oil.

Recoup some of our money (5, Insightful)

tonydiesel (658999) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184559)

Good. With California (still) facing rather sizable budget deficits and having paid Diebold so much money to begin with, this seems like a good step. I'm worried about the 2004 election in our state, we don't have enough machines, volunteers or money to solve the problems. Since my taxes went toward paying for those machines in the first place, I'd be happy to see the state get some of my money back so it can put it towards the stuff it really needs.

Too bad about the criminal case though, it may not be fair, but Diebold sure seem like a bunch of crooks to me!

Upset? (5, Informative)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184565)

Well, the President of Diebold did claim in 2003 that his company was
committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.
I suppose the California officials are upset that Diebold didn't include their state in the obvious corruptions of an opaque and unmonitorable voting system.

Re:Upset? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184941)

No, he said " I [usatoday.com] am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." Notice that first-person pronoun? The statement takes on an entirely different, equally plausible, and less conspiratorially ominous meaning when you use the appropriate noun. But, oh wait, this is /.

Re:Upset? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10185034)

you're a girlie man.

Re:Upset? (0, Flamebait)

ryanvm (247662) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185085)

Guess what, dipshit? Whoever wins the election will be the president next year. Oh, what a horrific conspiracy!!

I Fart in Diebold's general direction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184574)

on charges it defrauded the state with false claims about its products.

What false claim was that? "Our product does NOT rig elections."

How about simply... (4, Insightful)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184666)

What false claim was that?
How about simply that the product was supposed to work correctly as it was claimed to do before the sale.

All technology vendors need to be foreced to quit hiding behind some software EULA that allows them to escape being held liable when their stuff don't work right. If it takes charging them with fraud, then so be it.

Sued "Out the Ying-Yang" (5, Insightful)

Performer Guy (69820) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184577)

This is going to be entertaining. The developer memo that Diebold should "Charge them Out the Ying-Yang" [talkleft.com] for paper copies because it was a new feature will surely come back to haunt the company. Such a disgusting attempt to exploit the customer over product deficiencies will not sit well with a jury.

I think the damages in this case may be "Out the Ying-Yang". That's a phrase that really grows on you when the shoe is on the other foot. Come on say it with me Diebold, "Out the Ying-Yang".

Price on Democracy (4, Insightful)

weston (16146) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184663)

"Out the Yin-Yang" indeed. It's hard to put a price on playing fast and loose with American democracy.

For as much as modern pundits seem to throw around the term "treason" these days, I'm surprised the term hasn't been applied to Diebold.

Re:Price on Democracy (4, Interesting)

Performer Guy (69820) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184750)

It'll only be treason after they orchestrate a coup, and even then only if they get caught failing. Until then it's just business :-)

Seriously though, I'm not one of the hysterical anti-Diebold mob, but there are a number of troubling things about this company and these systems. That said there will always be issues with any system and people crying that the sky is falling, but in this case there's enough substance and evasion by Diebold to cause some serious concerns. The case for code auditing and an open software model seems to have a great deal of appeal. I can't help but think we're rushing into this in a compressed timeframe and installing expensive systems early that will leave a technological legacy for future elections and systems to deal with. You'd have hoped that someone with a clue would have sat down and started some reasonable standards process and a software engineering effort to go along with it. OK this has happened to a limited degree but it has been steamrollered by a drive to do this in haste with intense lobbying in some areas, now what was this lawsuit about again?.

Re:Price on Democracy (2, Funny)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184800)

Corps can not commit treason, only people who do not donate lots of money to the whores on both sides of the isle in DC can be traitors.

Like most big lawsuits... (2, Insightful)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184588)

Like most big lawsuits, especially between the government and a big country, this will probably go through dozens of twists and turns, and motions and objections and requests for odd evidence, and it will probably end up out of court or perhaps just be dropped.


However, since this is getting covered very widely, on Y! news, for example, it will at least people start asking questions about why people want electronic voting, and how secure it really is.

California (2, Insightful)

panth0r (722550) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184589)

That's right up their alley... Litigation with the complaint of "I'm too stupid."

Diebold needs to be bankrupted (4, Insightful)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184634)

Electronic voting is a guaranteed way to have a dictatorship. Once a closed source machine is in charge of counting your votes, as long as the number matches the participants, who could challenge it, it's a machine. Say good bye to minor parties if this becomes mainstream.

Re:Diebold needs to be bankrupted (1)

coopaq (601975) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184926)

Electronic voting is a guaranteed way to have a dictatorship.

Well a peer-to-peer voting system would certainly help with the checks and balance.

I think my home PC can hold 300,000,000 votes in a MySQL database.

My neighbor and I can compare votes... hell the whole country can compare the votes then.

Course you may here the internet population from the South claim one thing while the North scream the other.

Too bad our country is so evenly divided by two parties.

karma risk: Not to troll but it seems to be and urban vs rural difference. Excuse me for any stereotypes.
I've lived in rural and urban areas and it is my general observation. (Living in rural now)

Awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184637)

Totally awesome!

And now for the finger-pointing! (5, Insightful)

Brian_Warner (765805) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184642)

I was wondering when the blamestorming was going to finally hit the Diebold fiasco. At what stage will people realise that with something as important as a voting machine, independently checking its secrity would be a good idea? Sure, Diebold is partially responsible, but so are the people that decided to pay for their flawed systems.

UK Elections (4, Informative)

Paster Of Muppets (787158) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184707)

Similar story in the UK not so long ago, the Government wanted to use postal and telephone voting as a means of increasing turnout, but they were seen as open to fraud and abuse (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3602170.st m [bbc.co.uk] ), including voter intimidation. What is wrong with making it compulsory for people to turn up to a voting station to cast their vote in person? I accept that some people cannot do this, for physical reasons (disabled, etc) or work (emergency services, etc), but if people are saying they're too busy to vote then why not reallocate a public holiday so they don't have to go to work that day? And if voting is compulsory, they cannot complain about who wins in the end. If you don't vote, don't complain!

Re:UK Elections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10185075)

In the US, at least in every state I've ever lived in, employers are required to let employees take time whatever time off they need to vote.

[OT] Florida...? (2, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184709)


I wonder how things are going to go in Florida this time around, between Diebold machines, institutionalized electoral mismanagement ('00 was neither their first "00", nor their last), and 2-3 hurricanes wiping the state's infrastructure flat during the run-up to the election.

Hip Hip, Hurray! (1)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184720)

I bet DieBold will try to counter sue for slander of title, in order to hold onto investors while they bail out.

In other news . . . (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184751)

California Attorney General Bill Lockyer was terminated by Republican governator Arnold Schwartzenegger.

Re:In other news . . . (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184841)

In related news...23 girlymen state officials "will not be back"

Re:In other news . . . (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10185099)

In other news, it was reported that comedy is actually harder than it looks. Film at 11.

Face it guys, +5 Funny isn't in the cards.

Twelve Angry Men (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10184788)

And the dozen jurymen vote: 2 for the plaintiff, 13 for the defendant, 1 for Buchanan.

Good Plan (2, Funny)

bahwi (43111) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184809)

1) Accept, without proper testing, Electronic Voting Machines. Pay ridiculous amount.
2) Find out machines suck
3) SUE for Much More than the original cost
4) PROFIT!!

First to market: Corporate natural selection (3, Insightful)

Theovon (109752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184831)

Sometimes, competition and rush to market is so intense that companies simply CANNOT do a proper job. The reason? No one is going to do a proper job. If you wait and do things right, then a competitor will get their half-ass product to market before you, and then you lose. No one is the wiser until way down the road. Now, since everyone is doing the hack-and-slash job, the winner is whoever managed to cover their mistakes better or who had fewer visible mistakes (or marketed better, etc.). By the time people figure out that the chosen product is shite, the companies that might have done a good job are either long gone or on to other things.

Only after this first wave of a new kind of product do companies "learn from the mistakes of the past" (translation: we can do it right this time because customers finally expect to wait on a proper product).

Capitalism is wonderful, but as with anything run by humans, it has its challenges.

Diebold is the sacrificial lamb in this case. There's no way that history could have turned out any other way. If it hadn't been Diebold, it would have been someone else doing the same crap job and then getting sued by CA. They were the lucky ones who got to market first and the unlucky ones who got caught at doing what they and all of their competitors were doing. As usual, some other company will soon come along and produce a slightly better machine, etc.

Re:First to market: Corporate natural selection (1)

Theovon (109752) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184973)

BTW, I thought I'd add something: Perhaps if a pattern emerges where companies get sued for doing a shit job, companies thinking of doing a shit job will think twice before doing it, and better products will be produced.

But even then, there's bound to be some jackass who tries to take the shortcut and ruins things for themselves and everyone else. The only way to deal with THAT is to have stricter testing.

Re:First to market: Corporate natural selection (1)

DrInequality (521068) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184997)

Yep, true. Rush crap to markets is a wonderful trend in technology.

But you forgot to mention the "steal all other companies' good ideas while you're at it" strategy.

Somehow, the word "Microsoft" springs to mind!

Re:First to market: Corporate natural selection (1)

lendude (620139) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185004)

Whilst I would agree with the overall argument re: the 'first to market' issues, I'm not sure that the tag 'sacrificial lamb' is appropriate: it carries with it far to many sympathetic tones for my liking.

Given that Diebold would also be well cognizant of the 'first to market' scenario, and it's potential consequences, and decided to pursue that strategy anyway, well then... Maybe call them 'voluntary guinea pigs' - Just my 2c worth.

Not to troll but... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184888)

...if the product were open source and it was later found to have flaws, could California sue? I think voting terminals should be open source because it allows people who may be a lot smarter than those working at Diebold to dissect it and make sure it's working properly and secure. For something as fundamanetal as voting, people should know what happens when they click on a candidate.

But back to what I was saying, California knows that if Diebold violates the contract, they can sue. If this was done by a bunch of people, they wouldn't have that insurance. They also wouldn't have had as much risk though.

I don't know, this is an interesting set of circumstances because it seems so new in our culture. I'd like to hear any opinions on people close to this matter who have some valuable insight.

Re:Not to troll but... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185061)

> ...if the product were open source and it was
> later found to have flaws, could California sue?

Of course they could sue whoever they bought the machines from. Why do you think that the fact that the vendor chose (or was required) to deliver machines running Open Source software would relieve him of his obligation to fulfill the contract?

Guess... (3, Funny)

michael_cain (66650) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184895)

the California state government didn't get the memo: How do you tell when a vendor is lying? Their lips move.

Not Approved? (2, Insightful)

GSpot (134221) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184953)

"Secretary of State Kevin Shelley has said Diebold deceived California with aggressive marketing that led to the installation of touch-screen voting systems that were not tested or approved nationally or in California."

Not approved? WTF, why would any vendor, save a car mechanic, do anything without the customer's approval? Especially in the case of a multi-million dollar rollout of such a large product. I call bullshiat, I bet Diebold has many signed approvals by authorized members of the government of California. This is just the start of all the "election irregularies" finger pointing when Kerry takes it up the arse in November.

What good will that do? (1)

RayDude (798709) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184971)

How is suing Diebold going to help anyone or the situation any? Don't you think we should save the damn money for some good systems? I mean can we even get enough money form them to pay for the stupid law suit? Pointless. The only people who benefit from this lawsuit is the lawyers. Raydude

who needs a brain when you have lawsuits? (1)

vijayiyer (728590) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184974)

It seems to me that Diebold hasn't done anything wrong here. They have a horrible product which doesn't hold up to any scrutiny. Incompetent, perhaps, but not wrong. The politicians, who are absolutely incapable of critical thought, especially when it comes to using tax money, screwed up buy buying into an obviously flawed system, and now they're trying to shift the blame (as politicians always do) to Diebold. Oh well, I guess that always has been and will be the way of things. Diebold's job was to sell their product. It was the customers job to decide if they needed it, and unfortunately, that customer uses our money.

Finally (2, Insightful)

xombo (628858) | more than 9 years ago | (#10184988)

It's finally good to see Diebold get its come-uppens. It's highly important to see this as the first step in realizing that commercial companies are incapable of securely managing our infrastructure (applies to voting and Diebold's ATMs) without the people's ability to scrutinize such products.

In related news... (3, Funny)

starrsoft (745524) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185037)

Diebold CEO, Bob Urosevich, announced, "Like our motto [diebold.com] says, 'We won't rest!' We will fight this lawsuit until we win! For us, it is do or die bold!"

Re:In related news... (3, Funny)

starrsoft (745524) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185089)

Also, in a statement addressed directly to the California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Diebold Vice President Thomas Swidarski said , "It isn't our fault that you didn't make sure to Lockyer voting systems!"

How can we tell people about electronic voting? (4, Interesting)

FleaPlus (6935) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185042)

Has anybody tried talking to non-computer people about electronic voting? I've tried it a few times, even toning down things, but people often either don't understand what's at stake or assume I'm exagerrating.

I think this is quite possibly the most important US domestic issue this year, and feel that the word needs to get out about this, so we can try to fix what we can before it's too late [blackboxvoting.org] . Unfortunately, I haven't been successful thus far. Has anybody else had better luck?

Logical fallacy (0)

leviathanap (783802) | more than 9 years ago | (#10185051)

Something tells me people just enjoy passing on the blame. Let's look at the 2000 election. "Damn those voting machines!" How about the people operating them? Hmm? "Damn these voting machines!" User and technician error is thrown aside as people realize that they can criticize the maker of the product (who is obviously working for a secure system) with support. Creator accountablility is recognized - user accountability is ignored. Maybe a cooperative effort funded by state dollars to fix the problem - as opposed to using all the money on legal fees - would offer a more secure system, more public integration and input in a government system (something our founding fathers, especially Jefferson, wanted), and an overall happy situation. Let's do it for ol' TJ.
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