"Yesterday the panel sent a letter to Diebold giving the company 30 days to turn over documentation for, among other things, the federal testing and qualification of each version of its software and hardware; procedures for tracking its inventory, especially when machines come back for repair; copies of all contracts signed with county election officials since January 2001; and, at the behest of voting activist Jim March, a description of all changes the company made to the Windows CE operating system in its touch-screen units.
"The latter information will show whether the company violated Federal Election Commission voting-system standards, which require federal code review of software like Windows CE only if it's altered. Voting activists and computer experts believe that Diebold never submitted the Windows CE for review. Diebold was unavailable to confirm that before press time.
"We'll certainly work with the secretary of state's office to continue to provide them with the information they feel is necessary to conduct a complete and thorough audit," said Diebold spokesman David Bear.
"The VSP meeting, which has previously attracted little more than a dozen voting-system vendors and activists, drew more than 100 people this time, including county election officials, computer experts and dozens of TV and newspaper journalists."