I'm following up on the new Diebold (pronounced "DEE-bald" not "DIE-bold", although I do continue to pronounce it that way because I'm a phonetic dogmatist) optical scan technology which is to be implemented in 25 Connececticut towns and cities (link for list) for the November election, and throughout the state in 2007.
I've been going through Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz's press releases about the new technology, and there is something a little odd about them. I'll admit that I haven't perused each and every one of them, but the five or six I've read didn't mention the name "Diebold" even once. She refers to LHS Associates, the company that is selling the optical scanning machines, and IVS LLC which sells the machine for people with disabilities.
But nowhere is any mention made of Diebold.
Sure, there are links to the company websites at the very end of SOME press releases, and if you go to them they have detailed information on the Diebold machines easily available. But it's an unnecessary extra step that shouldn't be required to find out the manufacturer of the machines.
I'm not sure how the State normally deals with dispensing information about how their contracts are awarded, but wouldn't it be considered "press release-worthy" information to mention the name of the manufacturer of a single machine type that is essentially the entire budget of a $15 million state contract?
I'm also going to pursue information about the security testing of the system at the UConn Computer Sciences department. I found details of the study via TrueVoteCT, which is a non-partisian group of Connecticut voters dedicated to bringing accessible and verifiable voting to Connecticut. I'll try to contact the people running the testing and see what sort of results they're getting.
BlackBoxVoting.Org has a detailed report on the hackability of these machines, with step-by-step illustrated instructions on how to open the machines and replace/hack/copy the memory cards without breaking the official security seal on the unit.
More to come next week. This is an ongoing story.