December 20th, 2005


Webloggy Entry: Die, Diebold, Die!

It appears that Diebold, the company which makes a large percentage of the electronic voting machines now used in the United States, as well as automatic teller machines, is in serious trouble. Just a few days after the resignation of its former CEO Walden O'Dell, two groups of investors have filed lawsuits against the company, claiming that Diebold's misleading comments about its products artificially inflated share values, which have since declined alarmingly. In fact, the company's stock has fallen 30% this year, and there is speculation about an investigation by the Department of Justice.

Meanwhile, the results of a test of Diebold equipment by Leon County (FL) Director of Elections Ion Sancho has provided such damning evidence of the susceptibility of diebold machines to undetectable manipulation of election results that even Jebby Bush is tucking down his tail to cover his highly vulnerable ass. The connection between the now-disgraced former CEO O'Dell and George W. has been known to many since the questions about possible Diebold machine-related election fraud in Ohio in 2004 were quickly buried by the supposedly liberal media. Then, not only buried, but completely ignored by the mainstream media was this story about still more questionable Ohio election outcomes in November of 2005. All of this comes back to Diebold, too.

One of the more disturbing things I've seen about Diebold's malign influence on the electoral process comes from Volusia County, Florida, whose County Council recently rejected a Diebold proposal in favor of a (perhaps) more reliable, though more costly, voting machine system produced by a competing company. The disturbing part is that, last July, the National Federation of the Blind filed a lawsuit against the Volusia County Council, demanding that they adopt Diebold machines. It turns out that Diebold has a long relationship with this non-profit charitable institution, and has apparently earned the organization's gratitude for its generosity.

As much as I'd like to think that Diebold made its large donations to the NFB out of genuine concern for the blind and the visually limited, the historic behavior of the company leads me to suspect an ulterior motive. After the possibility of such a motive on Diebold's part was raised in a New York Times editorial on June 11, 2004, NFB's President, Marc Maurer, included in his annual report a defense of its relationship with Diebold (relevant passage archived behind the cut below.) I know nothing of Mr. Maurer, or what he might say now that the flaws of the Diebold system are at last being widely exposed, but I find it disgraceful that Diebold would use a charitable organization as a footpad in its campaign to sell its highly questionable product, which I now believe was the company's real motivation.

Some are now comparing the Diebold meltdown to the similar disintegration of Enron. I think Diebold's crimes were more serious. I have no doubt that Kenny Lay and his minions stole billions of dollars from energy consumers. I no longer doubt that some group within Diebold consciously and deliberately stole elections. Enron damaged our bank accounts. Diebold subverted our Democracy. I want the whole story to come out, in every detail, even if it means that the Republican Party is exposed as being hopelessly riddled with corruption, and the Democratic Party is exposed as being dominated by hopelessly cowardly fools. I think most of us already believe these things to be true, anyway.

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Leafless trees were beaded with glittering raindrops again this afternoon, and the overcast sky concealed the sun. The break in the storm lasted only through early morning. The dawn sky was a mass of pink and mauve and blue, but the clouds had barely turned white before they began gathering once again to form a continuous gray roof, and the sound of falling rain resumed. The nights are but slightly colder than the days, and the days are not as cold as one would expect in December's waning time. I'm not complaining. If January and February want to provide more of the same, that's fine. Three straight months of Novemberish weather might prove monotonous, but it would be better than getting my ass frozen off.

Though the day was liquid, my thoughts have been more viscous. I had coffee tonight, in an attempt to stave off the ennui, but drugging myself with caffeine appears to have failed. I'm still about as stimulated as a slug. Maybe it I went out and ran around naked in the rain...? No, probably not. Most likely, I'd still be bored with myself, but cold and wet. Hot shower instead. Then I'll try to figure out why the LJ search box now includes the categories "Site" (which goes nowhere, as far as I can tell) and "Site & Username" (which goes to the same place mere "Username" goes.) What the hell is it for?