North Carolina: Diebold Attempts to Evade Election Transparency Laws
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Contributed by John Gideon, Information Manager, Voters Unite and VoteTrustUSA
November 18, 2005
the State of California bends over backwards in an attempt to give
their elections to Diebold (see link
a lawsuit has been quietly filed in North Carolina to ensure that
Diebold must play be the same rules as other vendors and that they must
abide by state law.
Today the Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF) announced that they were going to court to prevent
Diebold Elections Systems, Inc. from evading North Carolina law. EFF
reported the following in a press release:
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.
On behalf of North Carolina voter and election integrity
advocate Joyce McCloy, EFF asked the court to force Diebold and every
other North Carolina equipment vendor to comply with the law's
requirements. A hearing on EFF's motion is set for Monday,
"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."
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. EFF, with the assistance from
the North Carolina law firm of Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland &
Rabenau, P.A., intervened in the case on behalf of McCloy, the founder
of the North Carolina Coalition for Verified Voting.
a brief filed Wednesday, EFF argued that Diebold had failed to show why
it was unable to meet various new election law provisions requiring
source code escrow and identification of programmers. North
experienced one of the most serious malfunctions of
e-voting systems in the 2004 presidential election when over 4,500
ballots were lost in a voting system provided by Diebold competitor
UniLect Corp. Local officials were
forced to re-run a portion
of the election. The new transparency and integrity provisions of
the North Carolina election code were passed in response to this and
other documented malfunctions that have occurred across the country.
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