Trouble in E-Voting Paradise

In a blow for advocates of electronic elections, major manufacturer of digital ballot boxes Diebold Inc. has made steps to dump its beleaguered e-voting division. The firm announced on Aug. 16 that Allen-based Diebold Election Systems, which manufactures the controversial AccuVote TSX touch-screen voting system, will be renamed Premier Election Solutions and made more autonomous from the parent company. Diebold had originally been looking for a buyer, but found there were no interested parties. In a press release, Diebold blamed “rapidly evolving political uncertainties and controversies surrounding state and jurisdiction purchases of electronic voting systems.” The division had been a PR millstone ever since the firm took over Global Election Systems in 2002 to create it. Since then, the firm and its clients have faced multiple legal suits over machine security and the potential for voter fraud. Diebold also lowered its annual revenue predictions for the voting division (currently in the $185 million to $215 million range) by $120 million.

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