Feeds

Is that bell tolling for Diebold's election business?

Analysts polled, vote for sale

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Prompted by a filing Diebold made last week with the SEC, analysts in the US are beginning to wonder aloud about the future of Diebold Election Systems.

In the filing, Diebold warned that further changes to the rules governing electronic voting could hurt its business. It said it is "vulnerable to these types of challenges because the electronic elections systems industry is emerging", and complained of inconsistency between states on how elections are run.

It also acknowledged that the rising concern over the reliability and security of its machines has had a negative impact on its relationships with election officials. Now speculation is mounting that the firm might try to jettison the division in a bid to repair its reputation.

Negative publicity about the voting machines - such as the HBO documentary Hacking Democracy - has cast a shadow over the 150-year old company, analysts say. Until its move into e-voting, the firm was better known for its safes and automated teller machines.

Gil Luria, an investment analyst who monitors Diebold for Wedbush Morgan Securities told reporters for the Associated Press: "This is a company that has built relationships with banks every day of every year. It pains them greatly to see their brand tarnished by a marginal operating unit."

Late last year, Diebold said it would announce its long-term strategy for the elections division early in 2007. It said at the time that the unit would be evaluated in terms of profitability, growth, and long-term strategic fit.

Luria says he expects to hear that the division will be sold: "I imagine at this point it's a question of whether have they found a private equity buyer yet or are they about to announce they are going to look for one."

But others are more circumspect. With the possibility of tougher rules governing the use of the voting machines, and no additional funding likely, the voting machines business is looking increasingly uncertain.

Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services, notes that in Diebold's shoes, he'd be wondering about the benefits of staying in the market, but added that in such an uncertain market, finding a buyer might prove tricky. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.