E-Voting? No Sale

Diebold's electronic voting division gets a new name and no buyers.

After failing to find a buyer for its beleaguered electronic voting division, ATM manufacturer Diebold Inc. has done the next best thing and given it a new name. The firm announced that, as of today, its Allen, TX, based electronic voting division, Diebold Election Systems, will be known as Premier Election Solutions.

This change will, the press release notes, "create a more independent structure for its elections systems subsidiary." Of course, the firm's independence has been in question ever since its then-CEO (and Bush booster) Walden O'Dell said he was "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." In reality, the division has been a pr millstone ever since the firm took over Global Election Systems in 2002 to create their voting division.

Shares in Diebold dropped 3.34% on the New York Stock Exchange today. They'd been buoyant for much of the year, but sluggish sales and resistance to e-voting in many states had made market analysts downgrade it from a "buy" to a "hold" recommendation. There's no word on how this will affect the other Texas-based electronic voting machine vendor, Austin's privately-owned Hart Intercivic. However, if investors are getting cagey about investing in an election machine firm the year before a presidential election, that's a bad sign for proponents of dropping votes into the digital abyss.

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