Tuesday, April 1, 2008

LA Times/Onion on Diebold (April Fools!)

Today's Los Angeles Times online features this excellent blog entry by Andrew Malcolm "reporting" on a Diebold software glitch. The glitch was first "reported" by the Onion News Network (ONN)in this online news video. Andrew Malcolm's story adds some interesting twists to the original Onion report. Excerpts are below. Happy April Fools day!


An apparent simultaneous software glitch in thousands of Diebold electronic voting machines across the country during the night accidentally released word that Arizona Arizona Republican Senator John McCain will officially win the general election on Nov. 4.

Release of the preset presidential election results months prematurely could become a serious embarrassment to the company whose expensive and allegedly unreliable electronic voting machines have been so controversial in some places.

"We really don't know how this happened," a company spokesman told The Ticket, "but we stress that all the congressional election outcomes are still sealed. So there's still some mystery. And we're asking the news media to suppress the presidential news results in order to maintain the national political suspense for another seven months." Obviously, the appeal for secrecy worked on other websites but not on The Ticket.

The computer error is certain to affect negatively the television....

audience ratings on election night, since viewers will have known the winner for exactly 31 weeks. So election night's mounting popular vote counts, the states changing colors, electoral college totals and pleasant people with perfect hairdos predicting state outcomes and discussing what it all means will look like the sham it is, except this time viewers will know it.

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