I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Bad PR to kill electronic voting?

Diebold Weighs Strategy for Voting Unit
CLEVELAND (AP) -- Diebold Inc. saw great potential in the modernization of elections equipment. Now, analysts say, executives may be angling for ways to dump its e-voting subsidiary that's widely seen as tarnishing the company's reputation.

Though Diebold Election Systems - the company's smallest business segment - has shown growth and profit, it's faced persistent criticism over the reliability and security of its touch-screen voting machines. About 150,000 of its touch-screen or optical scan systems were used in 34 states in last November's election.

The criticism is particularly jarring for a nearly 150-year-old company whose primary focus has long been safes and automated teller machines.

"This is a company that has built relationships with banks every day of every year. It pains them greatly to see their brand tarnished by a marginal operating unit," said Gil Luria, an investment analyst who monitors Diebold for Wedbush Morgan Securities Inc.
Yes, bad PR may do what opponents of electronic voting machines couldn't do. Although profits have been high the bad publicity may be impacting the meat of Diebold's business. I'm not going to claim that Diebold is directly responsible for fraud but they did market a machine with multiple security flaws and no paper trail. Over at Redstate they make the standard argument that if you trust their ATMs you should be able to trust their voting machines. This of course is like comparing apples and oranges. An ATM is a big cash register with a modem. If a mistake is made I will know - there is a paper trail, my bank statement. If a Diebold machine miscounts my vote I will never know and have no way to find out. ATM's can only be opened by skilled technicians who have had extensive background checks. Who knows how election workers are trained or checked.

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