Diebold Inc. insisted that cable network HBO cancel a documentary that questions the integrity of its voting machines, calling the program inaccurate and unfair.
The program, “Hacking Democracy,” is scheduled to debut Thursday, , five days before the 2006 U.S. midterm elections. The film claims that Diebold voting machines aren’t tamper-proof and can be manipulated to change voting results.
“Hacking Democracy” is “replete with material examples of inaccurate reporting,” Diebold Election System President David Byrd said in a letter to HBO President and Chief Executive Chris Albrecht posted on Diebold’s Web site. Short of pulling the film, Monday’s letter asks for disclaimers to be aired and for HBO to post Diebold’s response on its Web site.
Something tells me the film is gonna make it on the air? Why? Well, keep reading…
Because…did you know that Diebold settled with a whistleblower in Jan 2005 over voting snafus to the tune of $2.5 million? No?
The whistle-blower lawsuit, filed by (Renton elections activist Bev) Harris in November 2003 and taken up by the California attorney general in September, said Diebold engaged in unfair business practices and made false claims about its product.
It alleged that Diebold used uncertified software in elections in California. The settlement requires the company to pay millions back to a number of counties and replace some equipment, among other things.
Harris said the settlement “is a good sign. It certainly vindicated that our criticisms had validity.”
As an additional note, Bev Harris is the author of Black Box Voting: Ballot Tampering in the 21st Century.
You may want to check it out, as it has gotten rave reviews from Vanity Fair and Salon.com.