Diebold Crisis

When North Carolina passed the Public Confidence in Elections Act, Diebold fought to be exempted from it’s requirements. This resulted in a legal battle with The Electronic Frontier Foundation EFF representing the founder of NC Verified Voting, Joyce McCloy.

~ This illustrates the fact that it is sadly not enough to get a good law passed; you have to bevigilant and sometimes aggressive to make sure that it is enforced. ~

12/24/2005 BlackBoxVoting.com:    The coming phoney “crisis”  The anti-voter forces in the NC BoE and elsewhere are going to try and claim that the Diebold withdrawal is a “crisis” and the governor needs to call a special session of the NCGA to gut S223. They will claim the law is so strict Diebold had to pull out and now the state is in peril of not having anyone who will sell us voting machines….. Election officials in California and Florida REJECTED Diebold systems because, when examined by computer professionals, the systems failed to provide even basic protections against tampering and/or errors. The North Carolina Board of Elections, who did NOT examine the same identical systems, certified them as compliant with NC law which states: read the rest of the article

12/23/2005 Joyce McCloy: Diebold quits NC, is it really about Microsoft? Diebold escrowed operating system in Ga, why not in NC?  They were not at liberty, they claimed, to disclose the source code for “operating systems, drivers and myriad other pieces of code that are present in any computer system.” Their specific concern is apparently Microsoft Windows CE. They appear to have had no qualms about escrowing Microsoft’s source code in other states.
Given that Diebold was decertified in California for misrepresentation to the Secretary of State and for installing uncertified software on the machines, it is easy to be skeptical about their public statements. In this case it seems concerns about proprietary third-party software may have been less of a factor than the “harsh criminal and civil penalties for non-compliance” imposed by North Carolina law. Full article

12/22/2005 VoteTrustUSA: Diebold pulls out of NC, offers to help the State Board of Elections change law – In a surprising reversal, Diebold has notified the North Carolina State Board of Elections that they are withdrawing from the procurement process in the state. They also offered their assistance in “revising” the state’s recently passed election laws to better suit their product. Article

Diebold Attorney’s letter to NC SBOE about withdrawing from state bidding process. Diebold letter

December 22, 2005. Diebold withdraws as N.C. voting equipment vendor citing that it wasn’t able to meet the software code requirements.  Diebold Election Systems told the State Board of Elections it would be impossible to meet a Thursday deadline to account for all software used by the company for machines certified to be sold in all 100 counties…A spokeswoman for Election Systems & Software, the lone vendor remaining, said the company will comply with all voting system requirements…”We’re just going to go forward,” state elections director Gary Bartlett said.

http://www.the-dispatch.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051222/APN/512221028&cachetime=5

**Diebold was losing the county by county battle anyway, there were only about 10 small counties who fell for the sales pitch.***

**Side note about third party software – Diebold escrowed MS software in Georgia. Or claimed to.  http://www.countthevote.org/ga_contract/diebold_escrow_docs.pdf

December 22, 2005. RALEIGH — State election officials acted properly when they certified two voting machine vendors to sell their products in North Carolina, Superior Court Judge Ripley Rand ruled Wednesday. Rand dismissed a lawsuit brought on behalf of Joyce McCloy, a Winston-Salem woman who has lobbied for stricter controls on the voting machine industry. McCloy was backed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a California group whose lawyers argued on her behalf   http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051222/NEWSREC0101/512220315

December 17, 2005. Warren County NC GOP chair urged the local BOE against buying Diebold. Cited improper certification, questioned ties of SBOE members to Diebold. “Dont Buy Diebold”http://www.hendersondispatch.com/articles/2005/12/17/news/letters/let02.txt   *Reference to (SBOE chairman) Leake and Diebold can apparently be traced back this article, which says that Leake and Diebold lobbyist Steve Metcalf (former state senator) have a long-standing friendship. http://www.northcarolinaconservative.com/index.php?subaction=showfull&id=1134097907&archive=&start_from=&ucat=&

December 14, 2005 Action Delayed in Voting Machine Complaint RALEIGH) – A judge delayed acting on a lawsuit challenging the certification of three voting machine vendors Wednesday because he needed more time to familiarize himself with details of the case. …A civil liberties group sued two state agencies, seeking to prevent the firms from selling voting equipment because it contends officials failed to properly review and assemble software code from their machines.                                  http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=central&id=3726747

December 08, 2005 North Carolina Sued for Illegally Certifying Voting Equipment

EFF Asks Court to Void Approval of Diebold and Others Without Source Code Review. “This is about the rule of law,” said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman.   “The Board of Elections has simply ignored its mandatory obligations under North Carolina election law. This statute was enacted to require election officials to investigate the quality and security of voting systems before approval, and only approve those that are safe and secure. By certifying without a full review of all relevant code, the Board of Elections has now opened the door for North Carolina counties to purchase untested and potentially insecure voting equipment.”         http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2005_12.php#004237

December 02, 2005 North Carolina Illegally Certifies Diebold E-voting System   – Board of Elections Ignores Rules to Escrow Code, Identify Programmers

Raleigh, North Carolina – The North Carolina Board of Elections certified Diebold Election Systems to sell electronic voting equipment in the state yesterday, despite Diebold’s repeated admission that it could not comply with North Carolina’s tough election law. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) believes that this raises important questions about the Board of Elections’ procedures as well as the integrity of Diebold’s bid for certification.               http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2005_12.php#004227

November 28, 2005 EFF Convinces North Carolina Judge To Throw Out Diebold E-Voting Case –  E-Voting Company Forced to Comply with Election Transparency Laws

Raleigh, North Carolina – Responding to arguments made by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a North Carolina judge today told Diebold Election Systems that the e-voting company must comply with tough North Carolina election law and dismissed the company’s case seeking broad exemptions from the law. http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2005_11.php#004203   For the brief filed in the case:  http://www.eff.org/Activism/E-voting/20051117_Diebold_v_NC_Motion.p

November 28, 2005 AP RALEIGH, N.C. – One of the nation’s leading suppliers of electronic voting machines may decide against selling new equipment in North Carolina after a judge declined Monday to protect it from criminal prosecution should it fail to disclose software code as required by state law. http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/news/local/13277828.htm

Diebold Attempts to Evade Election Transparency Laws
Kansas City infoZine, MO – Nov 19, 2005
In a last-minute filing, e-voting equipment maker Diebold asked a North Carolina court to exempt it from tough new election requirements designed to ensure …
http://www.infozine.com/news/stories/op/storiesView/sid/11514/

Voting machine company sued – Group says judge’s ruling defeats law
Raleigh News&Observer – Nov 19, 2005
Voting machine companies should have to abide by a new law requiring they turn over information on how their systems work, a Winston-Salem woman says…
http://www.newsobserver.com/682/story/368895.html

Action on voting-machine contract causes some concern
Greensboro News Record, NC – Nov 14, 2005
… who track problems related to voting machines say they are worried that if Diebold gets what it wants, the court will weaken North Carolina’s ability to …
http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051114/NEWSREC0101/511140308/1001/NEWSREC0201

Voting group leery of state contractor, pending lawsuit
Greensboro News Record, NC – Nov 13, 2005
… between 1983 and 1992 he worked for Sequoia Pacific Voting Systems. Both Diebold and Sequoia are bidding to work in North Carolina. … http://www.news-record.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051113/NEWSREC0101/511130328

Week-end update by Mark Binker
Greensboro News Record NC Nov 12, 2005
The question now is what rules will govern those machines and who will be enforcing those rules. Those are the broader topics Sunday’s and Monday’s stories get at.
http://blog.news-record.com/staff/capblog/archives/2005/11/weekend_update_4.html

Voting booths in flux
Jacksonville Daily News, NC – Nov 11, 2005
… Five companies, including Diebold, have submitted proposals. … before a decision is made on what companies will be authorized to sell machines in North Carolina. …
http://www.jdnews.com/SiteProcessor.cfm?template=/GlobalTemplates/Details.cfm&StoryID=36534&Section=News

Diebold ducks deadline
News&Observer – Nov 9, 2005
In their filing with the court, Diebold lawyers said the company could not comply with a section of a new state law that requires companies to identify programmers responsible for creating voting software or provide some other detailed information about their systems. Companies that don’t provide the information could be fined or held criminally liable.
http://www.newsobserver.com/102/story/363005.html

11/07/05 Diebold turns their bid in, three days after all other bids opened.
11/04/05 Diebold obtains temporary re-straining order on Friday, Nov 4 at 1:45 PM,
giving them until Monday, Nov 7 at 12:30 PM to turn in their bid.
11/04/05 bids for voting machines (except Diebold’s)opened by IT dept Friday,Nov 4,at 2:00 PM
11/04/05 sealed bids on RFP for voting machines due Friday, Nov 4, at 2:00 PM.

The State Board of Elections hired Keith Long, former Diebold employee (2002-2005) to oversee the voting machine selection process, this is the same man who installed 22,000 Diebold in Georgia in ’02.
http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/2-More-on-Our-Man-from-Diebolds-tenure-in-Georgia.html

Former democratic state senator Steve Metcalf serving as a lobbyist for Diebold –
Lobbyist Information…
Name: Steve Metcalf
Firm: The Policy Group, Inc.
Address: PO Box 1694
Asheville, NC 28802
Phone: (828) 258-6688
http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/lobbyists/Lobbyist.aspx?PId=5080
Background on Diebold’s implementation in other unlucky states:
Dueling quotes of Secretaries of State who publicly boasted of the implementation of Diebold in their states, and later their long punch lists, so bad that Georgia threatened to withhold payment for the equipment…. http://blackboxvoting.com/s9/index.php?/archives/31-Dueling-quotes.html
Diebold Sales Pitch to Election Officials
Diebold’s Sales Pitch to NC County Election Directors Sept 2, 2005