The Grim Future (?)
Friday, December 17, 2004
Court Approves Diebold Settlement Agreement With State of California
NORTH CANTON, Ohio, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- A California court
today approved the settlement agreement between Diebold, Incorporated, and the
State of California and Alameda County in their civil action against the
company and Diebold Election Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary. As
previously disclosed, terms of the settlement consist of a total $2.6 million
payment to the state, which includes a $100,000 payment to Alameda County. A
portion of the settlement also includes $500,000 to help form a voter
education and poll worker training program in California coordinated through
the University of California Institute of Governmental Studies. Additionally,
Diebold has agreed to certain technology and reporting obligations that will
provide election officials with a better understanding of the most effective
manner of implementing its elections systems.
Costs related to this civil action, including the $2.6 million reserve for
the settlement payment and costs related to product recertification, legal and
other expenses, were included in the company's third quarter results. As
previously disclosed, these costs had a $0.05 impact on earnings in the third
quarter. The company also previously disclosed it anticipates an additional
$0.01 per share of expense in the fourth quarter related to resolving this
Diebold Election Systems, Inc. is a wholly owned operating subsidiary of
Diebold, Incorporated, a global leader in providing integrated self-service
delivery systems and services. Headquartered in McKinney, Texas, Diebold
Election Systems provides high-quality voting technology to jurisdictions of
all sizes, along with comprehensive service and support capability, and is
committed to elections accuracy, security and integrity. For more information
on Diebold Election Systems, visit the company's Web site
at , or call 1-800-433-VOTE.
Diebold, Incorporated is a global leader in providing integrated self-
service delivery systems, security and services. Diebold employs more than
13,000 associates with representation in nearly 90 countries worldwide and is
headquartered in Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $2.1 billion
in 2003 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symboldd
"DBD." For more information, visit .

Related Reading:

Electronic Voting Glitches Reported
Los Angeles Times | November 2, 2004
By Chris Gaither

Today’s election was the first major test for the electronic voting machines, which record results on hard drives instead of on paper. More than 45 million people in 29 states, or 29% of the nation’s electorate, were expected to cast votes on the new machines, up sharply from 12% in 2000.

Many machines seemed to have worked flawlessly, but frozen screens, machines that wouldn’t start up and votes cast for the wrong candidate were reported by people in states ranging from California to Florida and from Louisiana to Pennsylvania.

By 3 p.m. today, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a technology civil liberties group based in San Francisco, said its election errors hotline …


Published on Thursday, August 28, 2003 by the Cleveland Plain Dealer
Voting Machine Controversy
by Julie Carr Smyth

COLUMBUS - The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.”

The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O’Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O’Dell’s company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.

O’Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president’s Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party’s federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

The letter went out the day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold as one of three firms eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election.

Blackwell’s announcement is still in limbo because of a court challenge over the fairness of the selection process by a disqualified bidder, Sequoia Voting Systems.

In his invitation letter, O’Dell asked guests to consider donating or raising up to $10,000 each for the federal account that the state GOP will use to help Bush and other federal candidates - money that legislative Democratic leaders charged could come back to benefit Blackwell.

They urged Blackwell to remove Diebold from the field of voting-machine companies eligible to sell to Ohio counties.

This is the second such request in as many months. State Sen. Jeff Jacobson, a Dayton-area Republican, asked Blackwell in July to disqualify Diebold after security concerns arose over its equipment.

“Ordinary Ohioans may infer that Blackwell’s office is looking past Diebold’s security issues because its CEO is seeking $10,000 donations for Blackwell’s party - donations that could be made with statewide elected officials right there in the same room,” said Senate Democratic Leader Greg DiDonato.

Diebold spokeswoman Michelle Griggy said O’Dell - who was unavailable to comment personally - has held fund-raisers in his home for many causes, including the Columbus Zoo, Op era Columbus, Catholic Social Services and Ohio State University.

Ohio GOP spokesman Jason Mauk said the party approached O’Dell about hosting the event at his home, the historic Cotswold Manor, and not the other way around. Mauk said that under federal campaign finance rules, the party cannot use any money from its federal account for state- level candidates.

“To think that Diebold is somehow tainted because they have a couple folks on their board who support the president is just unfair,” Mauk said.

Griggy said in an e-mail statement that Diebold could not comment on the political contributions of individual company employees.

Blackwell said Diebold is not the only company with political connections - noting that lobbyists for voting-machine makers read like a who’s who of Columbus’ powerful and politically connected.

“Let me put it to you this way: If there was one person uniquely involved in the political process, that might be troubling,” he said. “But there’s no one that hasn’t used every legitimate avenue and bit of leverage that they could legally use to get their product looked at. Believe me, if there is a political lever to be pulled, all of them have pulled it.”

Blackwell said he stands by the process used for selecting voting machine vendors as fair, thorough and impartial.

As of yesterday, however, that determination lay with Ohio Court of Claims Judge Fred Shoemaker.

He heard closing arguments yesterday over whether Sequoia was unfairly eliminated by Blackwell midway through the final phase of negotiations.

Shoemaker extended a temporary restraining order in the case for 14 days, but said he hopes to issue his opinion sooner than that.

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