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Diebold offers implausible exlanations for defects, tries to oust another county elections official

By Bev Harris, Black Box Voting and Kathy Dopp, UtahCountVotes  Posted by Joan Brunwasser (about the submitter)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 3 pages)
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Media Contacts:
UtahCountVotes Kathy Dopp 435-658-4657 or
BlackBoxVoting Bev Harris 206-335-7747, or
Bruce Funk funk@co.emery.ut.us


DIEBOLD OFFERS VARIOUS IMPLAUSIBLE EXPLANATIONS FOR DEFECTS, TRIES TO
OUST ANOTHER COUNTY ELECTIONS OFFICIAL

On March 18, Black Box Voting released the first part of findings from an
examination of the Diebold TSx touch-screen machines in Emery County,
Utah. See http://blackboxvoting.org

Diebold has responded.

Harri Hursti and Security Innovation Inc. (whose clients include
Microsoft and the National Security Administration) have rebutted
Diebold's initial explanation for the low memory on some of the
machines it delivered to Utah. Diebold then came up with a new
explanation, while trying to maneuver Emery County's elections chief
into resigning.

Bruce Funk, the elected official who has run elections in Emery County
for 23 years, noticed a critical shortage in flash memory/storage in
seven of his 40 brand new Diebold machines. He arranged for an
independent evaluation, a right granted to Utah county officials in
the Diebold contract. Black Box Voting secured the services of Harri
Hursti and Security Innovation, Inc. for the Emery County evaluation.


The initial assessment showed that the memory was so low it appeared
likely to compromise elections held on the affected machines, and the
most likely explanations of low memory are all bad: 1) Different
programs on the machines 2) Data already residing on the machines from
use elsewhere 3) Flash memory near the end of its life cycle.

1. DIEBOLD CLAIMS LOW MEMORY DUE TO FONTS

According to the Deseret Morning News and the Salt Lake Tribune,
Diebold spokesman David Bear claimed that the critical shortage in
memory was due to "different fonts" loaded on certain machines,
"although the types of tests run on the machines before shipping could
also take up memory." Diebold has not explained why some machines
would have different fonts than others.

However, the memory discrepancies were as large as 20MB, and the low memory
triggered a RED alert on the TSx machines, clearly an alert that there
was a problem.

Hursti and Security Innovation cast doubt on the font explanation:

HURSTI: "Fonts can explain a few 100 kilobytes [each] at the most, not
20 meg we have."

SECURITY INNOVATION, INC.: "I went into the tool that builds Windows
CE and after adding ALL of the fonts that it contains they *totaled*
to 4 megs. Harri is right in that each font individually was small
with the largest being a meg but most being like 30k-60k. There exists
the possibility that they created a custom font but I don't know
why...The only one that's any where near big enough (22meg) is a
UNICODE one that can represent things like Japanese characters,
Chinese characters.

Emery County Utah does not have a Japanese/Chinese population
sufficient to warrant such special fonts, and even if it did, if such
fonts use up memory to the extent that machines experience critical
storage problems, that is a significant defect. The existence of Asian
language fonts on Utah machines would be consistent with taking
delivery on machines previously used in California.

2. NEW DIEBOLD EXPLANATION: "There is an A, B, and C version"

On Monday Mar. 27, Diebold attended a meeting in Emery County and here they
claimed there were several versions delivered to Utah. Despite the
fact that all machines are the TSx 4.6.4, in this tape recorded
meeting, Diebold stated that within this there is an A, B, and C
version.

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