Response To JHU Prof's Disclosure With VoteHere
Source: Diebold, Incorporated
Diebold Responds to Johns Hopkins Professor's Disclosure of Relationship With Voting Industry Competitor
Tuesday August 19, 2:49 pm ET
MCKINNEY, Texas, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Diebold Election Systems is shocked and disappointed by recent admissions from the Johns Hopkins associate professor Avi Rubin, co-author of a recent report claiming security flaws with Diebold Election Systems software. Mr. Rubin revealed that, at the time he participated in the study, he held a financial interest and a position on the advisory board of VoteHere Inc., which is a Diebold competitor in electronic elections technology (http://www.jhu.edu/news_info/news/home03/aug03/votehere.html). Mr. Rubin provided further background by acknowledging that he is known in the field for his position "as a strong skeptic about whether there is any viability in [e-voting and is] known for suggesting that there are very difficult problems for any company to overcome." (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000608/DIEBLOGO )
Diebold Election Systems has consistently questioned the conclusions drawn by the Johns Hopkins-issued report. In the study, a prior version of Diebold's touch screen software was analyzed while it was running on a device on which it was never intended to run, on an operating system for which it was not designed, and with minimal knowledge of the overall structures and processes in which the terminal software is embedded. In addition, many of the weaknesses attributed to the operating system on which the software was tested are inapplicable to the embedded operating system actually used by Diebold. As a result, many of the conclusions drawn by the researchers are inaccurate or incomplete with respect to the security of the software element of Diebold's voting system. It is now clear, by Mr. Rubin's own admission, that questions of bias must be considered.
"Political leaders and experienced elections officials across the country have supported the electronic voting format as holding the greatest potential for ensuring impartial, secure and accurate elections," said Thomas W. Swidarski, president of Diebold Election Systems and senior vice president of Strategic Development and Global Marketing for Diebold. "We remain confident in the integrity and security of our voting systems, and are committed to working hand-in-hand with elections officials nationwide to deliver the most reliable products and services, all directed to protecting the democratic voting process."
Diebold is open to working with states and jurisdictions on unbiased, constructive research conducted by third parties, using our current hardware and software within a simulated, real-world election environment.
"We entered the election systems business knowing that our technology and 144 years of broad experience in security would help ensure the integrity of the vote and accuracy of the election process," Swidarski continued. "The close presidential election in 2000 was a clear indication that an updated, technological solution was necessary to restore confidence in our election process."
Diebold Election Systems is a global leader in the deployment and electronic voting systems. During the November 2002 gubernatorial elections, more than 33,000 Diebold touch-screen systems were in use, providing accurate, secure election results for jurisdictions throughout the United States. Diebold Election Systems is a wholly owned operating subsidiary of Diebold, Incorporated, a global leader in providing integrated self-service delivery systems, security and services. Diebold employs more than 13,000 associates with representation in more than 88 countries worldwide, and is headquartered in North Canton, Ohio, USA. Diebold reported revenue of $1.9 billion in 2002 and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol `DBD.' For more information on Diebold Election Systems, Inc., visit the company's Web site at www.dieboldes.com, or call 1-800-433-VOTE.