Blowing the Whistle on Diebold

By John Ireland
In These Times

Monday 17 July 2006

On July 13, the Pensacola, Fla.-based law firm of Robert F. Kennedy
Jr. filed a “qui tam” lawsuit in U.S. District Court, alleging that
Diebold and other electronic voting machine (EVM) companies
fraudulently represented to state election boards and the federal
government that their products were “unhackable.”

Kennedy claims to have witnesses “centrally located, deep within the
corporations,” who will confirm that company officials withheld their
knowledge of problems with accuracy, reliability and security of EVMs
in order to procure government contracts. Since going into service,
many of these machines have been linked to allegations of election

In the wake of alleged vote count inconsistencies and the “hanging
chad” debacle of 2000, Congress passed the Help America Vote Act
(HAVA) in 2002. HAVA appropriated $3 billion to replace voting
equipment and make other improvements in election administration.
Diebold, Election Systems & Software and Sequoia Systems secured the
lion’s share of $300 million in contracts to purchase EVMs. All 50
states have received funds and many are hurriedly spending it on
replacing lever and punch card machines in time for November.

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