New Diebold Docs. Have A “Stink” To Them
NEW DOCUMENTS FROM DIEBOLD ELECTION SYSTEMS HAVE A “STINK” TO THEM
JULY 20, 2005: One late night in Texas, 51-year-old Kathleen Wynne did something she never thought she would consider: She jumped into a dumpster.
An ordinary citizen who had become concerned about the integrity of Diebold voting machines, Wynne was amazed to find hundreds of pages of documents in the trash. Among them: internal notes and memos, planning information, problems with equipment and customers, price bid worksheets, staff bonuses, and financial statements from Diebold Election Systems. It was early July, just after second quarter financials, and the Diebold elections division seemed to be cleaning house.
Wynne was a citizen volunteer then – she is now a full-time investigator for Black Box Voting, a nonprofit, nonpartisan 501c(3) consumer protection group for elections.
Diebold, a company that boasts of its security, had made no attempt to shred the documents, or protect them in any way. Instead, the company was in the habit of discarding its internal records in various publicly available locations -- an apparent violation of the management requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The first batch of documents is posted here:
(We’ll come back to the document stash in a minute.)
DIEBOLD DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN GALLINA MONEY
In May, Black Box Voting broke the story of ACG Group, LLC, which has been funneling money from Diebold into the pockets of . . . someone.
The ‘G’ in ACG stands for Gallina – Pasquale “Pat” Gallina. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Gallina was caught giving $10,000 to the Franklin County Republican Party, handed off through the Franklin County Director of Elections. The Dispatch also contains a report of a $50,000 donation by Gallina to Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell’s political interests.
Diebold, according to the Akron Beacon Journal, denies any involvement in the donations by Gallina, pointing to “Celebrezze & Associates” and vowing to fire that organization (set up by Anthony Celebrezze, now deceased) if it is proved to have “provided the check in the name of Diebold.”
Excerpts from the above news articles can be found here (scroll down):
Let us now dissect the spin:
1. The money was flowing through ACG Group LLC. A few dollars may also have wandered into Gallina’s pocket through “Celebrezze & Associates,” but the large, UNDISCLOSED cash was flowing through ACG Group LLC, an entity Diebold has not uttered a word about.
2. Who in their right mind would write a check “in the name of DIEBOLD?” According to the Dispatch story, Gallina showed up at the Franklin County elections office with a check in hand and said "I'm here to give you $10,000. Who do I make it payable to?” Gallina claims the money was his own.
However, another principal of ACG Group LLC is Juan Andrade (the ‘A’ in ACG). Andrade told Black Box Voting on videotape that Diebold money is paid to him directly, and Diebold money also goes through ACG Group, for purposes that are largely for “persuasion.” (click the VIDEO camera picture at Black Box Voting (.ORG) and select “Cook County Money Trail” to clips of Andrade talking about Diebold and ACG Group)
More details of Andrade and Gallina and Ohio money dealings can be found here:
99 PAGES OF NEW DOCUMENTS REVEAL MORE PROBLEMS
Diebold financial documents found by Black Box Voting investigator Kathleen Wynne reveal questionable payments, and show that some items may have been untruthfully reported to government authorities.
A document, first published online by Black Box Voting in July 2004, exposes large payments to entities investigated for unusual payments to political figures. Black Box Voting has identified a $144,000 payable to “Lottery Services of Georgia,” which was one of 16 companies found to have received "pass-through" payments from GTECH in a 1995 probe. The same document, and others, show $20,000 per month payments to Andrade, Gallina’s partner in the Diebold-funded ACG Group.
Accounts payable document:
Documents also show payments to California lobbying firm Rose & Kindel, whose executive recently popped up with an appointment in new California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson’s administration. The payment, over $45,000, does not match the amount reported by Diebold for the same period (around $7,000).
(copies of Diebold disclosures to California can be found here):
In another document, an executive memo, Diebold execs admit to a culture of ethics problems, and you can sense the gnashing of teeth as they describe trying to explain to the Diebold audit committee about the lying and obfuscating that went on during California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley’s administration. The memo states that this cost the company dearly, resulting in a $3 million loss for the year.
A document from Coconino County, Arizona describes refusal to pay Diebold’s bill due to quality problems with the machines.
A hand-written note asks why voting machines originally sold to Canada were re-sold as “new,” tracing serial numbers to Mendocino County and LHS (a company that services Diebold accounts in New England.)
Note that another voting organization, http://www.countthevote.org, has unearthed other devastating documents revealing specific failures in Georgia in 2002.
Additional information about problems with Georgia’s Diebold touch-screens, and links to The Count the Vote documents, can be found here:
The GEMS central tabulator program has been pummeled by computer programmers for its flawed, hack-friendly design. Documents found by Black Box Voting show flabbergasting pricing for GEMS.
(Click here to see $325,000 price quote for GEMS on the bid worksheet for Sacramento County, California):
For a company that sells its voting system to unions (especially the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers), both security flaws and union-bashing tactics should give union members a moment of pause.
Latest security failures outlined in this one-sheet:
Union-squashing tactics shown in this planning sheet: http://www.bbvdocs.org/diebold/union-busting1.pdf.
(See page 3, plans to “research Teamsters Local 38 as to finances, misconduct etc).
Additional documents, and analysis of the current ones, will appear at http://www.blackboxvoting.org throughout this week.
Folks, it is YOUR tax dollars that pays for these shenanigans. Diebold recently achieved statewide touch-screen sales for Mississippi, Utah and Ohio.
We may not win this battle by being “polite” and “working within the system.” The system has been broken for some years now.
We need to rekindle our confidence as Americans – Kathleen Wynne, an ordinary citizen, has shown that simple actions can have lasting repercussions.
It sometimes seems that we have an inferiority complex – instead of believing in our own innate good judgement, we continue to “leave it up to the experts.”
It is the experts who got us into this mess. It is the experts who certified Diebold and the other machines (see http://www.blackboxvoting.org/BBVreport.pdf ) for a devastating technical report showing just how flawed these systems are.) It is the “experts” who gave us the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). With this kind of help, maybe we need to go back to basics.
To participate in discussions of your local elections, and these issues, make friends with the “FORUMS” tab on our home page: http://www.blackboxvoting.org.
Let us hear from you. Together, let’s fight this beast.
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