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California: Diebold TSx Rejected After State Tests PDF  | Print |  Email
By John Gideon, Information Manager, and   
August 03, 2005
On July 29, 2005 newspapers in California were reporting that the Diebold TSx voting machines had failed in a mock election test. The papers reported a 10% failure rate on a voting system that had just been federally qualified only 2 months previously.

The reports from California led to the following email to be sent to the Elections Assistance Commission:

 To: ,
Subject: E-voting machines rejected after state tests
This article in the Fresno Bee is striking in that it points out how poorly a particular voting system (Diebold TSx 1.18.22) performed during certification testing in a state (California). This exact same voting system has been purchased by the state of Mississippi and is being forced on it's counties. This is probably the exact same voting system that is to be purchased by the state of Utah.

The one question on everyone's lips is; "How did this system get qualified?" The idea of the ITA qualification system should be to ensure that any voting system being sold to states and/or counties is accurate and works as it is supposed to.

It is apparent that the ITA qualification system failed miserably in the case of this voting system. 96 machines were tested with a 10% failure rate. Those are miserable results.  If this voting system is an exemplar for voting systems that have been ITA qualified and are being used across the country then we should all be very concerned. There is a problem that needs to be fixed and it needs to be fixed as soon as possible for the good of our democratic process. 
(Copies sent to Senator's Cochran, Lott, Bennett, and Hatch via other means)

On August 3, 2005 the newspapers reported that the reports from July 29, 2005 did not reflect the actual results of the testing. In fact the failure rate was nearly 20%. This is an amazingly high number of failures for a voting system that has just been federally tested by certified Independent Test Authorities and reviewed by a panel of experts.

This newly reported information led to the following email to be sent to the Elections Assistance Commission. Note that no reponse was received to the first email:

To: , ,
Subject: California Test Failure Rate Twice Original Report

Today's news brings the word that the results of the California mock
election/test of the Diebold TSx v. 1.18.22 w/vvpat printer were nearly
twice what was reported last week. Also, the report changed the poor
results from an emphasis on paper jams to an emphasis on "crashes".

This is an unbelievable revelation. These machines went through weeks of Independent Test Authority testing. The testing and paper work were
reviewed by your panel of experts and yet, one in five machines crashed in a mock election.

I ask again, because I was not given the courtesy of a response to my first query; "How did this system get certified?". How can any voter feel comfortable using a voting machine that has the assurance of NASED and the EAC?

The ITA test system must be the "Good Housekeeping" of elections systems. We, the voter, must feel comfortable, when we go to the polls, that the machines we use for elections are going to work properly. It is apparent that we cannot rely on the present system if it fails as badly as this failure. The state of Mississippi has contracted with Diebold for these same machines. The state of Utah is planning on using these same machines. The state of Ohio is doing the same. These machines need to be recalled and states need to be warned not to buy them until the problems are fixed and they have been re-qualified.

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