Stock Fall Another 3.3% Today...
(And More Trouble Still To Come for Diebold, Our Sources Tell Us...)
By Brad Friedman on 9/27/2005, 9:46am PT  

With Diebold, Inc.'s financial and ethical and political chickens perhaps finally coming home to roost, Andrew Gumbel, author of Steal This Vote: Dirty Elections and the Rotten History of Democracy in America comes out with some more troubling information on the voting machines sold by America's largest Voting Machine Company.

As we write this morning, Diebold's trouble stock prices, which fell nearly 20% over two days last week alone, continue to tumble. DBD share prices are down 2.33% so far in early trading today closed down another 3.3% today!

The trouble reported by Gumbel today, comes out of Georgia, vis a vis the Democratic Secretary of State down there and what appears to be some less-than-above-board contractual shenanigans with Diebold and their hardware and software. The report also suggest that votes may have disappeared entirely from Diebold voting machines.

Gumbel reports, in a Huffington Post blog item today based on several original documents and contracts obtained via public records requests made by CountTheVote.org's Roxanne Jekot, that recent "elections were run on software that was not only untested but also uncertified, that key components broke down during live elections, that county officials were left clueless on how to operate the new machines because of a breakdown in the training schedule, and that the cost of installing the electronic touch-screen system jumped dramatically beyond the advertised $54 million, without proper legislative oversight or approval."

While Gumbel's concerns seem to be used to question Sec. of State Cathy Cox's fitness for office as she makes a 2006 gubernatorial bid, it's Diebold's complicity in keeping security issues with their machines quiet that caught our eye. Amongst the items reported by Gumbel based on records reviewed (more links available in his original article):

� Georgia ran its first all-touch screen election, in November 2002, with software for which no evidence of legal certification had been submitted. Certification documents were still not forthcoming, in fact, as late as March 2003. Because of a meltdown in the schedule for training county election workers, Georgia ended up abdicating control of the election to Diebold technicians, who ran it on the state's behalf � without the voters being told.

NOTE: The 2002 election questioned above, was when Senator, War Hero and 3-time amputee Max Cleland (D-GA) lost his seat in a surpise victory by Republican, Saxby Chambliss who had run advertisements questioning the patriotism of Cleland, and comparing the Vietnam War hero and 3-time amputee to Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein.

Gumbel continues...

� While state officials were assuring the public everything had passed off swimmingly, they were telling Diebold they had found evidence of screen freezes and other calibration problems potentially affecting the accuracy of the vote count, the deployment of �obsolescent� memory cards, CDs supposedly containing county election results that turned out to be blank, memory failures in the tabulation process and a raft of other problems.

� Two months before last year's presidential election, Georgia and Diebold identified the need for a �security adjustment� to be installed on every terminal. But the state did not insist on having it certified and installed before the vote took place. Rather, Diebold was given a deadline of May 2005 � six months after the election. In other words, Georgia went ahead with the election in the full knowledge that its security was compromised.

� Although Cox claimed the 2004 election produced a record low number of missed or undervotes (just 0.39 per cent in the presidential race, compared with 3.5 per cent in 2000 when the state used punch card machines), records obtained from more than 30 counties through public records request suggest the missed votes were catalogued under a different criterion � �blank voted� ballots. While the printouts from the touch screen terminals show nothing but 0s in the undervote column, the percentage of blank votes reaches as high as 39 per cent in some lower-order races.

That last item is particularly of note, given Diebold Spokesman, David Bear's repeated assertions to us, when we interviewed for comment on security concerns raised by "DIEB-THROAT", our anonymous company insider. Bear repeated over and over again to The BRAD BLOG that Diebold's software "has been used in hundreds of elections and there's never been a security issue" and that the company's voting machines have never lost a single vote. How he would know that, given so much of what we've learned about what we don't know about Diebold's machines and software, remains a mystery to us. Given Diebold's track-record of obscuring the truth about such issues from both customers and voters, we have little reason to have confidence in any of the "company lines."