Wednesday, March 18

DIEBOLD ADMITS SYSTEM IN 31 STATES HAS MAJOR PROBLEM

Wired - Premier Election Solutions (formerly Diebold Election Systems) admitted in a state hearing that the audit logs produced by its tabulation software miss significant events, including the act of someone deleting votes on election day. The company acknowledged that the problem exists with every version of its tabulation software.

The revelation confirmed that a problem uncovered by Threat Level in January, and reiterated in a report released two weeks ago by the California secretary of state's office, has widespread implications for election jurisdictions around the country that use any version of the company's Global Election Management System software to tabulate votes. The 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.

"Today's hearing confirmed one of my worst fears," said Kim Alexander, founder and president of the non-profit California Voter Foundation. "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," Alexander said.

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