TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: N.C. Judge Declines Protection for Diebold

N.C. Judge Declines Protection for Diebold

Monty Solomon (
Mon, 28 Nov 2005 21:40:23 -0500

By GARY D. ROBERTSON Associated Press Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- One of the nation's leading suppliers of
electronic voting machines may decide against selling new equipment in
North Carolina after a judge declined Monday to protect it from
criminal prosecution should it fail to disclose software code as
required by state law.

Diebold Inc., which makes automated teller machines and security and
voting equipment, is worried it could be charged with a felony if
officials determine the company failed to make all of its code _ some
of which is owned by third-party software firms, including Microsoft
Corp. _ available for examination by election officials in case of a
voting mishap.

The requirement is part of the minimum voting equipment standards
approved by state lawmakers earlier this year following the loss of
more than 4,400 electronic ballots in Carteret County during the
November 2004 election. The lost votes threw at least one close
statewide race into uncertainty for more than two months.

About 20 North Carolina counties already use Diebold voting machines,
and the State Board of Elections plans to announce Thursday the
suppliers that meet the new standards. Local elections boards will be
allowed to purchase voting machines from the approved vendors.


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