Diebold/Premier Election Systems is being purchased by Election Systems & Software (ES&S). According to a Black Box Voting source within the companies, there will be a conference call among key people at the companies within the next couple hours. An ES&S/Diebold-Premier acquisition would consolidate most US voting under one privately held manufacturer.
FURTHER UPDATE: Having now reviewed the indictment, as linked above, here are some additional details on the alleged conspiracy which included election fraud though the buying and selling of votes to be cast in a certain way, with the aid of one of the defendants who served as a poll worker during the Early Voting period. Also, at the polling place on Election Day with aid of poll workers, drafted as both Democratic and Republican judges, to elect a slate of candidates --- some of them bribed --- the conspirators would manipulate the votes of "qualified voters" at the voting machines themselves.
A voting machine broke down last night as Fairfax County elections officials were tallying the results of a hotly contested special election to fill a vacant seat on the board of supervisors, leaving the outcome too close to call.
In an affidavit filed in September, Spoonamore asserted that "any time all information is directed to a single computer for consolidation, it is possible… that single computer will exploit the information for some purpose. ... In the case of Ohio 2004, the only purpose I can conceive for sending all county vote tabulations to a GOP managed Man-in-the-Middle site in Chattanooga before sending the results onward to the Sec. of State, would be to hack the vote at the MIM."
Voting on the old dinosaur machines in Pennsylvania and other places had its flaws, but there was one part they made helpfully stupid-proof. After you pulled the little levers to register your vote in each race, you pulled a BIG lever that opened the curtain and allowed you out of the booth. That lever was what officially "cast" your votes into the little counters inside the machine. Very 1930s-ish technology but (unless the damn machine threw a shoe, or tossed a wire off a pulley which they were prone to do, trapping you inside and causing a hysterical call for a repairman) it worked. Read more about Today's Voting Lesson: Push the Freakin' Button!
And for a change, it's not all bad! It even made a mainstream paper:
his Guest Editorial was published in The Iowa City Press-Citizen. It is reposted with permission of the author.
The June 6 primary election has come and gone, but it should not be forgotten. A problem that has marred elections across the United States came to Pottawattamie County and offered our state an unforgettable lesson in the need for verifiable and auditable elections.