Diebold rebrands evoting business, revises forecasts
A bad day to Diebold
Diebold has re-branded its electronic voting subsidiary as "Premier Election Solutions" after attempts to offload the business failed. The firm also had to rein in its performance predictions, as uncertainty about the security of the machines starts to bite.
The firm said: "Efforts to sell this company... have proven unsuccessful due in part to the rapidly evolving political uncertainties and controversies surrounding state and jurisdiction purchases of electronic voting systems".
It also noted that large orders it was expecting in 2007 have moved into "2008 and beyond", and so needs to reduce its full year revenue forecast by around $120m. That is more than half: the business had expected to report revenue of up to $215m for the period.
Thomas Swidarski, Diebold's president and CEO said: "While we plan to fully support this business for the foreseeable future, we feel a more independent structure should allow it to operate more effectively."
He added that although the market is uncertain now, the US government is likely to pump more cash into voting technology at some point. The implication being that is worth hanging around to see what happens.
The news follows California's decision to decertify the voting machines made by the four biggest vendors, including Diebold.
The move by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen placed tough new restrictions on the use of machines of three of the manufacturers - Diebold Election Systems, Sequoia Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic, after security testers found serious vulnerabilities in machines from all three firms.
A fourth manufacturer, Election Systems and Software, could still be re-certified, having lost its stamp of approval for failing to turn over its source code in time for the review. ®
The thing about Australia
is that we have an electoral commission that's independent and trusted. We don't let bunches of local crooks run our national elections. Oh, and the voting machine trial uses open source which means the system itself is fully scrutinised.
Pencil & Paper works for us
Here in Australia we still use handwritten paper ballots, and nobody ever seems to allege fraud - i.e; they are highly trusted.
Of course we've heard of famous cases where ballots for one candidate were found stuffed up a water spout - 50 years ago!
We allow all parties to have a scrutineer at every polling place to observe and/or object to procedures, and this seems to work well.
Electronic machines are being trialled for a batch of disabled people, to see what happens, but this is not using Diebold or ESS or Sequoia, but our own homebrew that produces an audit trail.
The result will be interesting, as we are due a Federal Election at the end of this year.
Um. I'm sure you're trying to be funny, but here goes.
The phrase "to fully support" is a little like "to boldly go" - the verb is at the end and the adverb is in the middle. This is often referred to as a "split infinitive" (since the infinitive - "to support", "to go" - is split with an adverb) and is often frowned upon by people who forget that English isn't French.
It was very unfashionable for a while, but it seems to be making a comeback. Think of it as linguistic flared trousers and you might find it a little less upsetting. And you can always that we don't German speak rejoice.