Thursday, 18 December 2003
Felons making e-vote machines
The hits just keep on coming. Wired News reprints an AP article with this provocative opening: "At least five convicted felons secured management positions at a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, according to critics demanding more stringent background checks for people responsible for voting machine software."
Several of the people at issue were hired by Global Election Systems (GES), before Diebold acquired it in 2002 and renamed the subsidiary Global Election Management System, part of Diebold Election Systems. GES Vice President Jeffrey Dean, for example, was responsible for some of the company's proprietary code that counted ballots. The problem? According to court documents, he "served time in a Washington state correctional facility for stealing money and tampering with computer files in a scheme that 'involved a high degree of sophistication and planning.'"
The greatest threat to the integrity of our democracy may come from insiders at the companies that provide our election infrastructure. Who better to manufacture that infrastructure than people who have demonstrated a willingness to commit criminal and unethical acts for money? To state it mildly, this news qualifies as cause for alarm.