Diebold could be big loser in today's elections

November 07, 2006 9:01 AM EST
With its reputation battered, Diebold may be ready to throw in the towel in the election machine business. According to a Fortune Magazine story this week, company CEO and president Thomas Swidarski is questioning whether it's worth the effort to continue to do business in this area. In Rage Against the Machine, Siwdarski is already trying to distance the Diebold name from its voting machine business to protect its brand. Here's an excerpt:

Swidarski is questioning whether the election business "fits into our product portfolio." He says he'll make a decision within the next three months. But it says something that the company recently ordered the name "Diebold" removed from the front of the voting equipment. Why? A spokesman would only say, "It was a strategic decision on the part of the corporation."

If things go badly today, November 7th might just be remembered as Diebold Election Systems' Waterloo.

But if vendors are driven out of the business and abandon efforts to improve the technology where will that leave voters? If you think other options are much better, have a look at the table in the Fortune story. It shows the pros, cons and weaknesses of different voting methodologies, including paper, lever machine, punch card, optical scan and electronic.

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  •  Douglas Schweitzer: Vote-flipping becomes the impetus of complaints
  •  Robert L. Mitchell: An open letter to Diebold president and CEO Thomas Swidarski
  •  IT Blogwatch: E-voting stories rounded up (and palindromes)
  •  Angela Gunn: Stick a fork in e-voting?
E-voting 2006: Results a toss-up
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  •  E-voting and voter registration: The vendors