The Corner


No apologies for returning to this topic (it’s important, folks!), so here’s a dismal <a href="

“>story surrounding Diebold, one of the leading suppliers of e-voting equipment. If there is a way of making these systems acceptable it will involve paper receipts, but…:

“ANNAPOLIS — An e-mail found in a collection of files stolen from Diebold Elections Systems’ internal database recommends charging Maryland “out the yin-yang” if the state requires Diebold to add paper printouts to the $73 million voting system it purchased.

“The e-mail from “Ken,” dated Jan. 3, 2003, discusses a (Baltimore) Sun article about a University of Maryland study of the Diebold system:

“There is an important point that seems to be missed by all these articles: they already bought the system. At this point they are just closing the barn door. Let’s just hope that as a company we are smart enough to charge out the yin if they try to change the rules now and legislate voter receipts.”

“Ken” later clarifies that he meant “out the yin-yang,” adding, “any after-sale changes should be prohibitively expensive.”

“The e-mail has been cited by advocates of voter-verified receipts, who say estimates of the cost of adding printers — as much as $20 million statewide — have been bloated.”

Of course, the source is only two e-mails, and stolen ones at that (and there’s no word on what “Barbie” thinks), but, if accurate, this tawdry tale is yet another reminder that the ham-fisted rush (if a rush can be ham-fisted) to electronic voting is proving very messy indeed.


The Latest