Opts for Transparent, Accountable Elections (Instead of Diebold Elections) After a Protracted Battle...
By Brad Friedman on 12/16/2005, 1:55pm PT  

This just in...After various protracted legal battles (funded by the National Federation for the Blind, which had received a $1 million "donation" from Diebold previously) and along with the news out of Leon County, Florida, Volusia County has now come to their senses and also decided to dump Diebold voting machines!

Just out from the Orlando Sentinel...

Diebold voting machines will soon be history in Volusia County. After a nearly five-hour hearing today, County Council members voted to replace its Diebold machines with an entirely new system manufactured by Election Systems & Software.

The move, which will cost more than $2.5 million just for the equipment, was prompted by a federal mandate to buy at least one handicapped-accessible voting machine per precinct by Jan. 1. But the only such devices approved for use in Florida are ATM-like touch-screen machines that don't use paper ballots. But a majority of County Council members want devices that use paper.

The agreement approved Friday on a 4-3 vote allows the county to trade in the paperless touch screens for an ES&S-supported ballot-marking device with an accessible touch-screen called AutoMark if it gets approved for use in Florida. That would cost an additional $150,000.

If AutoMark certification doesn't happen by April 1, the county has the option to get out of the entire contract with ES&S and get a full refund.
...
The vote ends a nearly year-old debate in Volusia County about how to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, which mandates accessible voting devices.

A report received by The BRAD BLOG late last night from an activist down in Volusia in regard to the meeting anticipated today, summed it up thusly:

Between Ion Sancho scrapping his Diebold machines, the successful hack of his Diebold op-scan system, the securities fraud lawsuit, the resignation of Diebold's CEO, the illegal certification of the Diebold touch-screens by the state of Florida, and the fact that the Diebold TSX does not meet the requirements of state statutes for disabled access (not to mention not meeting the requirements of HAVA), we're hoping that NO ONE will end up supporting Diebold.

Well, three on the Volusia County Council still held out for Diebold. Fortunately, four didn't...and the vote wasn't held on paperless, hackable touch-screen machines, so it was transparent and reliable.

This report is yet another blow for Diebold coming on top of the resignation of their CEO, Walden O'Dell on Monday, along with a securities fraud lawsuit and the failed security test in Leon County on Tuesday. Quite a week for Diebold!

Our congratulations to the hard working citizen patriots in Volusia County and across Florida who have worked tirelessly on this issue for many months. Keep up the good work, folks! Democracy may not be dead yet!

Additional reporting on this story by John Gideon