Monday, March 05, 2007

Wired: AP Technology and Business News from the Outside World on

As the professor on Futurama says: "Good News Everyone!"...

"Diebold Inc. saw great potential in the modernization of elections equipment. Now, analysts say, executives may be angling for ways to dump its e-voting subsidiary that's widely seen as tarnishing the company's reputation."

Good news, because Windows based flaky touch screen systems will get a much deserved black-eye.

Good news, because maybe a few taxpayers (regardless of political affiliation) will be outraged by yet another wholesale replacement of voting systems by what is (almost**) certainly going to be more of the same. You think the laptop, touchscreen, and software (particularly Microsoft) sales reps are going to just sit idly by as Diebold leaves the playing field? With luck a few well placed (and as many cases as not Democratic leaning) election officials will be publicly driven from office. Do I care whether they are corrupt or just stupid? Um, no. In fact, corrupt governments might tend to watch how they spend our money more carefully. I want the spending on things that obviously don't work to stop, no matter what the cause.

Good news, because it might serve to remind people how close some of the 2006 results were (just as close in many cases as Florida 2000) and yet very few of these results were contested by Republican losing candidates, who could have wasted more taxpayer money with a nod. The one case of a contested results in the states surrounding me was in fact one in with a republican won by a comfortable margin. The Democrats called for a recount anyway. There is no doubt who the "ends justify the means" crybabies are (except in the mainstream media that is).

Good news, finally, because there is (**at least) some chance that the few stories of poor to non-existent systems analysis that went into these new touchscreen voting systems will yield some viable open source alternatives (in fact open source applications running on Linux are ready to go.)

I'll continue to spank posters on Slashdot, local forums, and newspaper editors, who imply that an election has only been mishandled when Republicans win. That shallow thinking HAS lead to tyranny (even if a tyranny of "the masses") in other countries and it will do so here if not stopped.

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