Diebold admits serious design flaw in e-voting machines

dieboldPremier Election Systems -- the company formerly known as Diebold -- admitted in a public hearing on Thursday that the software used to manage audit logs on their electronic-voting systems had flaws that would not only drop certain votes entered into the system, but can delete the audit logs that could indicate a problem.

The testing, conducted after an election last June in Humboldt County, Calif., revealed at the time flaws in Diebold / Premier's GEMS system later confirmed by the California Secretary of State. The hearings now underway will help state officials to decide whether to decertify the GEMS v. 1.18.19 system for use in future state elections. The Humboldt testing revealed that the software dropped ballots under certain circumstances. Further investigation by the Secretary of State's office confirmed that problem -- and revealed that the audit logs themselves could be radically altered, sometimes with just one click. The problems with the audit logs, had they been known during the certification process (as Diebold knew for years, it was revealed today), should have disqualified the systems from being certified at all.

The hearings have been fairly acrimonious. At one point, after Diebold / Premier officials attempted to shift the blame for the problems onto state officials including Humboldt County Registrar of Voters Carolyn Crnich, the elections official fired right back on the company rep: "If you are saying that your system needs to be checked every damn time you turn it on, then I agree with you." (HT to BradBlog.)

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