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Indybay Feature
Tue Jul 13 2004
E-voting Activists File $42 Million Lawsuit Against Diebold
Another Nail in the Coffin for Diebold?
7/12/04: Jim March of Sacramento and investigative writer Bev Harris have filed a massive lawsuit against Diebold, Inc., on behalf of Alameda County and the State of California. March and Harris allege that Diebold officials falsely claimed their touchscreens were secure against tampering and knowingly supplied Alameda and other California counties with uncertified voting software, contrary to its contracts and state law. The activists are seeking a full refund from Diebold; state whisteblower laws allow for triple damages—$42 million for Alameda alone—of which March, Harris and their attorneys could be entitled to as much as 30%. Qui tam law allows citizens who discover fraud to sue on behalf of the government—which, from voting machines to weapon systems, is often too invested in the fraud to admit that it was cheated, purchased shoddy products, and failed to detect accuracy problems.

Another Nail in the Coffin for Diebold?Although state officials at first brushed off complaints and criticisms, Attorney General Bill Lockyer has been investigating Diebold at the request of Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, who accused Diebold of breaking California election laws and lying to state election officials. Diebold was late delivering printed ballots, and its core vote-tabulating software tended to give thousands of optically scanned votes to the wrong candidates in certain circumstances. In the March primary, Diebold shipped hundreds of hastily assembled and barely tested voter-card encoders that broke down in the early hours of Election Day at about a third of Alameda County's polling places, temporarily shutting down electronic voting there. Last year, Diebold attempted to force Indybay to remove links to leaked internal memos. Past Diebold coverage
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Related Categories: Government & Elections
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