By Ian Hoffman, Alameda Newspaper Group, 03/25/04
Diebold executives and Alameda county election offiicals held a closed-door meeting to discuss the numerous problems the county experienced with Diebold's voting equipment on March 2.
Diebold's voting system also inexplicably gave thousands of Democratic votes in the Oct. 7 recall election to a Southern California socialist. The firm has failed to obtain timely state approval of hardware and software.
For Super Tuesday, Diebold supplied scantily tested devices that failed in 200 Alameda County polling places and more than 560 in San Diego County.
The devices, a kind of voter-card encoder called the PCM-500, eventually were to revamp the polling place. Diebold and the counties planned as early as 2005 to program voter-registration lists into the PCM-500s, eliminating the need for paper pollbooks and making polling places virtually paperless.
On Wednesday, Diebold representatives said they didn't know they had to have such "peripheral devices" tested and certified for an election until late December.
State officials say that's not true.
"Elections officials were very clear in October in letting Diebold representatives know that anything related to their systems had to first be certified," said Doug Stone, spokesman for the California Secretary of State's Office.