By Brad Friedman on 2/8/2006, 1:35pm PT  

As we pointed out in our story on Diebold yesterday, AP ran a short piece including an interview with new CEO Tom Swidarski revealing indications that he seems to be looking to unload the beleaguered Diebold Elections Division as part of his $100 million "restructuring plan" as recently promised to share holders.

Shortly after our post about that article, AP reissued the same article, but with an additional quote from Swidarski, a bit more background on Diebold's many woes (former CEO Walden O'Dell's promise to deliver the state of Ohio to Bush, etc.) and a new headline: "Diebold chief says fate of e-voting unit under review".

Looks like they changed their lede after they realized what Swidarski was actually signaling in his comments, which --- in the new piece --- also includes these two quotes:

NORTH CANTON, Ohio (AP) - Diebold Inc.'s new chief executive, determined to cut $100 million in costs over three years, said he is reviewing whether the company should continue investing in its embattled electronic voting business.
...
"There's pieces and aspects of each of our businesses that I'm going to be looking at with a very critical eye in terms of what the future holds for us," Swidarski said in his first media interview since taking over in December the company best known for its automatic teller machines and security systems.

Risk within any of Diebold's businesses will be weighed against profit potential, Swidarski said. "If any of the pieces don't fit or any of the pieces don't add the value we think is associated with that risk, then we'll make appropriate decisions at that point," he said.

Got that? Diebold is now looking to get the hell out of the Election Business.

Feel free to contact your local Board of Election or Secretary of State who is considering signing a contract with these guys and let them know that Diebold may well not even be there a few months from now!

For more information and key articles on the downfall of Diebold, see this BRAD BLOG Special Coverage Page...