Diebold secretly "fixed" glitches in 2005, yet problems persist

Diebold's had somanyproblems recently that we're not even entirely sure which problem this latest "solution" was supposed to fix -- nor if it actually ended up causing even more headaches. It came out earlier this week that Diebold acknowledged quietly "fixing" 4,700 voting machines across four Maryland counties in 2005: Allegany, Dorchester, Montgomery and Prince George's. The problem was that sometimes the voting machines lock up, or as The Washington Post puts it "The screen freezes do not cause votes to be lost, officials said, but they confuse voters and election judges who sometimes wonder whether votes cast on a frozen machine will be counted." The newspaper continues, saying: "Critics said it raises concerns about whether the state and company officials have kept the public adequately informed about problems with a system that cost taxpayers $106 million." Um, yeah. If you're say, a state government and you've just spent over $100 million to buy voting equipment that allegedly improves our previous archaic system of paper voting, you might want to make damn sure that it actually does the job, and that you know what's going on at every step of the way. Now, this new problem/solution apparently is unrelated to that other vexatious problem involving unpredictable reboots. So, despite Diebold's assurances that all problems have been taken care of, the Post adds: "Even so, the two leading candidates for governor -- Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) and Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) -- have called on voters to use absentee ballots in the election, citing uncertainties about the reliability of Maryland's system." That's just great.

[Via The Associated Press]