Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Diebold Voting Machine

Happy Election Day everyone!

But wait, no one is happy.

Could it be because at this very moment the design of our congress is being determined and facilitated by a trivial and flawed machine?


Quick recap.

The Diebold Voting Machine is a fairly new voting technology designed to provide accurate and reliable results, accessibility to disabled or handicapped voters, and leading security during elections. Most importantly, the machine facilitates easy and quick election results, which might be the reason the government has outsourced to Diebold. Or, perhaps, for other reasons unbeknownst to us, at least admittedly.

So everything seems amazing for Diebold, that is until...

The secret code to the software of the voting machine was discovered by activists in 2003 basically just laying around on the internet-- the very same machine who is 'leading in security.'

The voting machine was infiltrated by Princeton University Professor Edward Felten and two students who were able to infect the voting machine with a virus that alters votes in less than a minute.

In 2003, Diebold's last CEO Walden O'Dell wrote to fellow Bush supporters in a fundraising letter ensuring that Diebold would "help Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President (Gimbel, 2006)."

Since then there seems to be 'rage against the [voting] machine.' That's to be expected: when a private company starts doing business with the government, things have the potential to get ugly.

It is understandable that e-voting with the Diebold voting machine or any machine for that matter exists to make democracy a little bit easier and accurate, but at any rate one must wonder if the costs of losing meaningful votes is worth the total volume of counted votes brought to us by e-voting? Can you put a price on democracy?

Technology has served us better in the past. With the proof that has been presented, it seems that the government could at least do more to ensure a truly democratic election seeing as how they have the resources and certainly the ability to design a more secure voting machine. It is a little suspect that the country's elections are reliant on a private company with seemingly questionable political ties.

Let it be known that not everyone has to vote using these voting machines; paper ballots and absentee ballots were offered as well. As to what method one should choose? Well, I guess that is solely dependent on which candidate you support and just how many times you want your vote to count.

And for your entertainment pleasure, a parody of a Diebold ad:

(source: nogw)

Next up: Net Neutrality: where internet might soon be for the haves, not the have-nots


At 8:25 PM, Blogger Michael Dunn, SGA VP Communications said...

Good info.

At 9:36 PM, Blogger Dombizzle said...

You go girl

At 8:22 AM, Anonymous joe smith said...

Cool picture. Funny stuff.

At 10:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The new voting technology itself is an issue but so to is the fact that even in this questionable "technological leap forward" we have yet to prove the public to be informed enough to move past constructs such as the electoral college. We look at voting as a direct input in our government, and while elections for Senate, House, and local seats are greatly in citizens hands, few realize that our government has become a complex bureaucracy . The bureau of our government have members who we have no ability to elect or dismiss. These very same people have sat through administrations, enacting and employing policy as the revolving door spins. These bureaus are created with a specific purpose but once said goal is achieved (or not) the bureau commonly remains to move onto a new agenda. Such is the electoral college. While not directly labeled a bureau It maintains the characteristics of modern bureaus. Established in fear of an incompetent voting community its existence remains today. I haven’t a clue how said electoral college members are installed in their position yet THEY hold the final power to decide the electoral vote of their respective states in presidential elections. Y is it that we still believe in the illusion of a direct democracy? Y is it that we don’t have a vote on the members of the electoral college? Y is it that bureaus do not dissolve once they loose their design function? y are we now placing what little vote we still have in the hands of third party organizations? What was so bad about the old method of voting? I understand that we cant do it the way it was when we were 13 colonies, With a show of hands .... but some technologies are replacements for systems which need little modernization. eh I could go on. but I wont... - Anonymous

At 8:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be interesting for you to do a follow-up--what actually happened on election day--how did the new tech fare? Thanks! Keep writing!
A parkie Mom


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