"Banking on Diebold Election Systems' assurances that its new electronic voting machine had federal approval or soon would, four California counties are shelling out $45.5 million to use the latest in digital democracy for the 2004 presidential election.
"Three counties -- San Joaquin, Solano and Kern -- already have thousands of the new Diebold TSx machines sitting in warehouses. Solano elections officials showed them off Thursday to Christmas shoppers in a local mall.
"Yet as the March primary approaches, the TSx remains unapproved by any federal authority.
"That shocks San Joaquin Registrar of Voters Debbie Hench. San Joaquin's $5.7 million contract with Diebold requires state and federally approved voting machines. "We're all holding our breath. We're hoping it's certified," she said."