We're still struggling to see how Diebold
can't manage to build a simple bit of voting software that works on their own hardware in this day and age of Doom-running iPods
, but it seems they've managed to screw things up again. Apparently Diebold has gotten the machines to work relatively well together, but only when using a mouse. If the touchscreen is tapped, the machine loses contact with its peers. Diebold is touting this mouse thing as a fix, and is offering to provide 5,500 mice for their e-poll books if state officials in Maryland give the go-ahead. Unfortunately, during a recent mock election, a poll-worker tapped the touchscreen despite repeated warnings to the contrary, and screwed up the system, requiring a reboot which took 30 seconds. Critics say this fault could allow some voters to vote twice, because if the machine loses contact with its fellows
when the voter checks in, their voting status might not be registered. The use of the machines is still up in the air, with state elections chief Linda H. Lamone stating confusingly yesterday: "I want to wait and rather not say today what we're going to do." Diebold is still trying to fix the touchscreen problem, but we're really not holding our breath.