Advocacy Group Files Suit to Reverse Court Ordered Diebold Exemption
By Brad Friedman on 11/18/2005, 2:52pm PT  

As the State of California appears to now be bending over backwards in an attempt to give their elections to Diebold as reported earlier today, a lawsuit has been quietly filed in North Carolina by the http://www.eff.org\">Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to ensure that Diebold must play be the same rules as other vendors and that they abide by state law which they have been attempting to skirt through court filings.

Today EFF announced that they were going to court to prevent Diebold Elections Systems, Inc. from evading the North Carolina law which requires Voting Machine Companies to place their source code into escrow with the state. Diebold, one of America's largest Voting Machine Companies, apparently doesn't want to and has recently received a court-waiver to allow them to avoid doing so.

From EFF's press release issued today...

In a last-minute filing, e-voting equipment maker Diebold asked a North Carolina court to exempt it from tough new election requirements designed to ensure transparency in the state's elections. Diebold obtained an extraordinarily broad order, allowing it to avoid placing its source code in escrow with the state and identifying programmers who contributed to the code.
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"The new law was passed for a reason: to ensure that the voters of North Carolina have confidence in the integrity and accuracy of their elections," said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "In stark contrast to every other equipment vendor that placed a bid with the state, Diebold went to court complaining that it simply couldn't comply with the law. Diebold should spend its efforts developing a system that voters can trust, not asking a court to let it bypass legal requirements aimed at ensuring voting integrity."

On November 4, the day that voting equipment bids to the state were due, Diebold obtained a temporary restraining order from a North Carolina superior court, exempting it from criminal and civil liability that could have resulted from its bid.

(Hat-tips to both John Gideon and David Edwards for alerting us to this story.)