Op/Ed Slams Diebold, Though Elsewhere in Paper it's Still Nothing More Than 'Conspiracy Theories'
By Brad Friedman on 12/18/2005, 4:44pm PT  

"The counting of votes is a public trust. Diebold, whose machines count many votes, has never acted as if it understood this."

So writes the NY Times correctly in a very good Op/Ed in today's Sunday paper. The piece smartly summarizes the bad week for Diebold and their years-long failure to understand the importance of the role they have been entrusted with in participating in our public elections process. We appreciate the coverage, if only because the paper's news division didn't devote any ink, as far as we know, to Diebold's growing troubles all week long.

Though elsewhere in the paper, on Saturday, Dan Mitchell embarrassed both himself and the once-great Grey Lady by announcing a "New Day for Diebold" along with further pimping the company's now-discredited PR attempts to marginalize those of us who give a damn about an accountable democracy in America. Mitchell reports very briefly in the technology section on the dumping of CEO Walden O'Dell last Monday in order to suggest this could be "the beginning of an interesting turnaround story" for Diebold. No mentions of the Securities Fraud Class Action against them, nor the devasting hack of their Voting Equipment later in the week. But Mitchell does use the opportunity to knee-jerk about both "conspiracy theories" and "black-helicopter theorizing."

In the best case, we'll suggest Mitchell suffers from either incomptence or sheer laziness. In a not so generous speculation, we'd wonder if he's taking the opportunity to attempt to boost the sagging stock price of DBD. Hey Dan, you'd tell us if you happened to own any Diebold shares, right?

Perhaps instead of appearing as a democracy-hating stooge, Mitchell should bother to read his own newspaper, which wrote far more responsibly in their Op/Ed today:

Diebold's voting machines have a troubled history. The company was accused of installing improperly certified software, which is illegal, in a 2002 governor's race in Georgia. Across the country, it reached a multimillion-dollar settlement with the California attorney general last year of a lawsuit alleging that it made false claims about the security of its machines. Last week, the top elections officer in Leon County, Fla., which includes Tallahassee, concluded after a test that Diebold machines can be hacked to change vote totals.
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As Diebold enters the post-O'Dell era, it should work to make itself worthy of the important role it now plays in American democracy.

Don't the NY Times Op/Ed folks realize that that all those items outlined as "a troubled history" are nothing more than "black helicopters" and "conspiracy theories"? We know it for a fact! We read it, after all, in the NY Times!

Or perhaps we can just conclude by paraphrasing them:

"The counting of votes is a public trust. So is the reporting on how it is done. Dan Mitchell, like Diebold, has never acted as if he understood this."