The United Technologies Corporation made public on Sunday an unsolicited $3 billion bid for Diebold, one of the largest makers of automated teller machines and voting machines.
United Technologies, which first approached Diebold two years ago, initially made the offer in private on Friday. The bid amounts to $40 a share in cash, or a 66 percent premium over Diebold’s closing price on Friday of $24.12, United Technologies said.
UTC is a defense contractor who wants to own a voting machine company. Can you think of any compelling reason why it would be in the public interest for a charter member of the Military Industrial Complex to own a voting machine company?
UTC is better known for its Comanche and Black Hawk helicopters and as of 2005 had $5 billion in defense contracts.
All five voting systems used in Ohio, a state whose electoral votes narrowly swung two elections toward President Bush, have critical flaws that could undermine the integrity of the 2008 general election, a report commissioned by the state’s top elections official has found.
“It was worse than I anticipated,” the official, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, said of the report. “I had hoped that perhaps one system would test superior to the others.”
At polling stations, teams working on the study were able to pick locks to access memory cards and use hand-held devices to plug false vote counts into machines. At boards of election, they were able to introduce malignant software into servers.
And what guarantee is there that such things did NOT happen in 2000 and 2004? Not a damn thing, that's what. I mean just because the CEO of the company that made the voting machines promised to deliver Ohio to Bush, no reason for anyone to be the least bit suspicious?
Ms. Brunner proposed replacing all of the state’s voting machines, including the touch-screen ones used in more than 50 of Ohio’s 88 counties. She wants all counties to use optical scan machines that read and electronically record paper ballots that are filled in manually by voters.
And this would be the solution we have recommended since 2003 when we first discussed the problem.
Ms. Brunner, a Democrat, succeeded J. Kenneth Blackwell, a Republican who came under fire for simultaneously overseeing the 2004 election and serving as co-chairman of President Bush’s re-election campaign in Ohio.
She ordered the study as part of a pledge to overhaul voting after problems made headlines for hours-long lines in the 2000 and 2004 elections and a scandal in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, that led to the convictions of two elections workers on charges of rigging recounts. Ms. Brunner’s office temporarily seized control of that county’s board of elections.
The study released Friday found that voting machines and central servers made by Elections Systems and Software; Premier Election Solutions, formerly Diebold;
A turd by any other name would stink as bad.
and Hart InterCivic; were easily corrupted.
Chris Riggall, a Premier spokesman, said hardware and software problems had been corrected in his company’s new products, which will be available for installation in 2008.
This is the same excuse Diebold has had since we first exposed its crappy software and illegal actions.
“It is important to note,” he said, “that there has not been a single documented case of a successful attack against an electronic voting system, in Ohio or anywhere in the United States.”
GODDAMN IT! I am FED Up to the back teeth with this freaking statement!!!!
When there is NO TANGIBLE BALLOT, it is CHILD'S PLAY TO ELIMINATE ALL EVIDENCE OF TAMPERING!!! It like being able to commit a murder where you not only eliminate all forensic evidence along with the body, you are also able to eliminate all evidence that the murder victim EVER EXISTED!!
After the 2000 Florida election debacle, Congress established a body called the Election Assistance Commission to improve voting and democracy in this country. Two years ago, the commission approached me about doing a project that would take a preliminary look at voter fraud and intimidation and make recommendations for further research on the issues.
Because my approach to election issues tends to be more closely aligned with Democrats, I was paired with a Republican co-author. To further remove any taint of partisanship, my co-author and I convened a bipartisan working group to help us. We spent a year doing research and consulting with leaders in the field to produce a draft report. What happened next seems inexplicable. After submitting the draft in July 2006, we were barred by the commission's staff from having anything more to do with it.
Yet, after sitting on the draft for six months, the EAC publicly released a report -- citing it as based on work by me and my co-author -- that completely stood our own work on its head.
Consider the title. Whereas the commission is mandated by law to study voter fraud and intimidation, this new report was titled simply "Election Crimes" and excluded a wide range of serious offenses that harm the system and suppress voting but are not currently crimes under the U.S. criminal code.
We said that our preliminary research found widespread agreement among administrators, academics and election experts from all points on the political spectrum that allegations of fraud through voter impersonation at polling places were greatly exaggerated. We noted that this position was supported by existing research and an analysis of several years of news articles. The commission chose instead to state that the issue was a matter of considerable debate. And while we found that problems of voter intimidation were still prevalent in a variety of forms, the commission excluded much of the discussion of voter intimidation.
Over and over again in my work on voting issues, especially e-voting, I have found this to be true. Voter fraud just does not happen in any frequency to get me excited. Intimidation and disenfranchisement, intentional and unintentional, is the REAL problem.
Once these "revisions" to the report were revealed this spring, there was an uproar among voting rights advocates. I was eager to set the record straight, but the commission would not allow me to speak about the report because of a broad "confidentiality provision" in my contract. The EAC finally released me from the gag order this summer, and, under pressure from Congress, it has publicly released 40,000 pages of revealing documents and e-mail.
Well, there your problem right there, lady. I would NEVER agree to be censored. Voting reform is NOT a "confidential" activity. It is carried out in broad daylight, not in the shadows.
Sarasota County, Florida's computer database infrastructure was attacked by a notorious Internet worm on the first day of early voting during the 2006 election featuring the now-contested U.S. House race in Florida's 13th Congressional district between Christine Jennings (D) and Vern Buchanan (R).
In the early afternoon hours on Monday, October 23, 2006, an Internet worm slammed into the county's database system, breaching its firewall and overwriting the system's administrative password. The havoc brought the county's network, and the electronic voting system which relies on it, to its knees as Internet access was all but lost at voting locations for two hours that afternoon. Voters in one of the nation's most hotly contested Congressional elections were unable to cast ballots during the outage as officials were unable to verify registration data.
In a separate document, titled "Conduct of Election Report, Sarasota County General Election, November 7, 2006" there are two different Internet service outages mentioned, though the viral attack described in the incident report from the Sarasota County database security team --- presumably the source of one of those outages --- is not described or even mentioned specifically in that report. It's still unclear what the second incident referred to in that report may be.
And how many damn times have pompous asses like George Gilbert, Linda Lamone, and Cathy Cox told us that thing like this COULD NOT HAPPEN? They repeatedly derided those of us who pointed out the dangers of their perfect system as lunatics, conspiracy mongers and even SPAMMERS.
Once and for all let us face facts. The people running our elections are not experts on computer security, They wouldn't know what a firewall is if you drew a picture on the wall for them and set it on fire. These people are not competent to run a computer-based voting system. Allowing them to run such a system without competent oversight is a clear and present danger to our democratic system. Any election official that tells you that their grasp of the risk is superior to a computer expert's grasp of the risk is deluded, arrogant, or lying through their teeth (or possibly arrogantly deluded and lying through their teeth).