Diebold Admits to Major Software Flaws

Software Bug Allows Ballots To Be Deleted; Audit Trail Won't Catch The Error

This Confirms What We've Know For Years, And Yes, We ARE Saying "We Told You So!"

Further, this admission shows that Premier Election Solutions (formerly and commonly known as Diebold Election Systems, Inc.) has NEVER been in compliance with federal election laws

Their admission calls into question every election anywhere that was run on Premier/Diebold software

A new report [pdf, 13 pages] issued by California's Secretary of State and submitted to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission describes how "a serious software programming error in GEMS version 1.18.19 caused the loss of 197 tallied ballots in the November 4, 2008, General Election. The report also describes several deficiencies in the audit trail logs in GEMS version 1.18.19."

The report also says that Premier/Diebold was aware of the problems for at least four years but did nothing to warn its customers -- over 1,000 counties across the nation -- about it.

Further, the software error causes votes to be lost, and the number of votes lost "greatly exceeds the maximum allowable error rate established by HAVA [Help America Vote Act]."

As reported by Computer World, "defects in the software version violate voting system standards established in 1990 and would have made the systems ineligible for use in an election had they been detected."

So in other words, any and all elections that used Premier/Diebold software, all of which occurred after the 1990 voting system standards were established, were run on illegal software.

According to Wired, Kim Alexander of the non-profit California Voter Foundation said that Premier/Diebold's admission "confirmed one of my worst fears. The audit logs have been the top selling point for vendors hawking paperless voting systems. They and the jurisdictions that have used paperless voting machines have repeatedly pointed to the audit logs as the primary security mechanism and 'fail-safe' for any glitch that might occur on machines. To discover that the fail-safe itself is unreliable eliminates one of the key selling points for electronic voting security."

Justin Bales, who is the general service manager for Premier/Diebold's western region, when asked if the company has taken any steps to correct the problem in their GEMS software, said, "No, not yet."

Added Bales, "... but now we're taking a serious look at that."

Gee, ya think? It's only an error that existed for years through countless elections in states all over America. And only now Premier/Diebold is going to take a "serious look" at the problem?

Premier/Diebold also followed a familiar script used by all the voting systems vendors when equipment or software problems are found; blame the customers! Premier/Diebold's representative tried to say that this problem is partly the fault of election officials who should have somehow known how to correct this software error despite the company having never told anyone of the problem or provided instructions on how to fix it.

According to our colleagues at The BRAD BLOG, Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich said that she was "offended" by this attempt to shift blame. "If you [Premier/Diebold] are saying that your system needs to be checked every damn time you turn it on, then I agree with you."

Premier/Diebold continues to hack away at our republic, seemingly determined to make sure America's elections, one of the two pillars on which our entire democratic republic stands (the other being the Constitution) remain unsecure, inaccurate, unverifiable, and even criminal.

Why? Why does Premier/Diebold hate democracy? Why do they want the terr'rists to win?

Please excuse the snark, but we're angry about this. We've been yelling and shouting for years that Premier/Diebold's software is in violation of federal law, and for years we've been begging the "powers that be" to stop this bunch of crooks from having anything to do with American elections. And for our efforts, we've been either ignored or called conspiracy theorists, sore losers, lunatics, or worse.

On a personal note, your humble blogger committed a crime in 2004 when I stole and exposed legal documents from the office of Diebold's California attorneys, documents that provided smoking gun proof that the corporation had been using illegal and uncertified software in the state, that they had been actively lying to the Secretary of State, the taxpayers, and the voters about the use of this software, and that they were working to cover up this crime and prevent it from ever coming to light.

I was convicted of a felony for my theft, was nearly bankrupted, and I remain on probation to this day. And Diebold? A civil suit was filed against them and they settled out of court, admitted no wrong-doing, and paid a $2.6 million dollar fine. That might sound like a hefty penalty, but in 2003, their total revenue was about $100 million, and in 2004, the company cleared over $80 million. Diebold's 2004 revenue from only one of California's many counties, Alameda, was $12.7 million. So that $2.6 million fine was hardly an appropriate punishment.

And worst of all, their equipment is still being used in California and around the nation.

So it's been a proven fact and known for years that this company is corrupt, crooked, and criminal, that they're bunch of anti-democracy hoodlums, liars, and crooks.

And yet they are still running elections in America. In fact, according to Wired, which reported on information gathered at VerifiedVoting.org, Premier/Diebold's criminally inept GEMS software "is used to tabulate votes cast on every Premier/Diebold touch-screen or optical-scan machine, and is used in more than 1,400 election districts in 31 states. Maryland and Georgia use Premier/Diebold systems exclusively, therefore the GEMS software counts every vote statewide."

So once again we express the hope that finally, once and for all, California and all other states that do business with Premier/Diebold will cease and desist from doing so. Further, a criminal investigation into the company's behavior should be taken up immediately by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.

Is that too much to ask?


Diebold Admits to Major Software Flaws:

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