What were you for halloween? Sparky, the penguin creation of Tom Tomorrow, was a Diebold voting machine. That’s pretty scary!

” … Diebold has become a favorite target of advocates who accuse it of partisanship: company executives have made large contributions to the Republican Party and the chief executive, Walden W. O’Dell, said in an invitation to a fund-raiser that he was “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.’’

He has since said that he will keep a lower political profile. Diebold has been trying to stop the dissemination of the files for months with cease and desist letters, but the number of sources for the documents continues to proliferate. Then in July, the first evaluation of the purloined software from recognized authorities in the field — a team involving experts and Johns Hopkins University and Rice University — found several serious holes in the software’s computer security which, if exploited, could allow someone to vote repeatedly, or to change the votes of others. A later review of the software for the State of Maryland agreed that the software flaws did exist, but that in the practice of real elections, other safety nets of security would keep the vulnerabilities in the code from being exploited. Diebold has said it has been working to fix problems. … “

> From today’s NYTimes: “File Sharing Pits Copyright Against Free Speech”

Meanwhile, 4th Ward candidate Scott Trudeau sent me the link to this story, about how the Australians have approached electronic voting: with open source software.

New to all this insanity? I suggest the London Independent’s excellent story, “All the president’s votes.” Just to whet your appetite, here’s their tease: “A quiet revolution is taking place in US politics. By the time it’s over, the integrity of elections will be in the unchallenged, unscrutinised control of a few large – and pro-Republican – corporations. Andrew Gumbel wonders if democracy in America can survive”

Author: Rob