I'm Sorry, Dave, I Can't Let You Vote That Way


Diebold president Bob Urosevich deserves, I suppose, a certain amount of props for admitting that his company's screwy e-voting software effectively disenfranchised thousands of California voters. But it's a pretty small amount. A state panel has recommended that the company's machines be decertified. Money quote from Bob: "We were caught. We apologize for that."

NEXT: What's a Few Million Between Friends?

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Expect to see this clown running for office any day now . . .

  2. Hmmm…so you can believe some of the things you read in Vanity Fair. Shucks, who knew? Good to keep in mind for future reference, I guess….

  3. Hmmm…so you can believe some of the things you read in Vanity Fair. Shucks, who knew? Good to keep in mind for future reference, I guess….

  4. Honestly, you guys consistently come up with very funny references in your headlines. Thanks for giving me a little chuckle to go along with the daily doses of bad news.

  5. What about this gem:

    “We would do well to remember the lesson that separate is not equal. Going back to optical scan is tantamount to segregation,” said Kathay Feng, an attorney at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center in Los Angeles.

    You have got to be kidding me! It’s about priorities. What’s worse, people using a system that can’t be audited, is error prone and easily hacked and changed or people needing translators to vote? I don’t even see why we even need electronic voting machines, ScanTrons do the job well.

  6. “We were caught. We apologize for that.”

    That’s awesome! There’s another good one at the bottom of the article:

    “Why did we sell something that we didn’t think we could run? Our understanding based on past experience was we thought we could get that certified.”

    At least they’re being honest about what their mistake actually was – overestimating the complacency and ignorance of CA voters and gov’t. As Kent Brockman once said, “this reporter promises to be more trusting and less vigilant in the future!”

  7. But it’s a pretty small amount.

    Otherwise known as “skimming.”

    Urosevich, accompanied by a defense lawyer and a public relations consultant hired specifically to see the company through its California crisis, worked hard to convince the panel that the company has reformed its ways and can be trusted to conduct elections.


    Otherwise known as “campaigning.”

  8. Christ, what a bunch of douchebags.

    There’s a Diebold ATM by my house that constantly coughs up Windows 404 errors when I use it.

    Can’t wait for the day I cast my vote and see “The system has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down” on the screen.

    What, for the love of GOD, is wrong with using paper ballots and Sharpie markers?

  9. “What, for the love of GOD, is wrong with using paper ballots and Sharpie markers?”

    That really isn’t an accurate fraud-free voting scheme either. It does have the “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” argument on its side in this case, however. There’s got to be a way to do computer voting right. The process just needs more transparency, digital signing, etc.

    The argument over whether computers or pen and paper is better in terms of efficiency and accuracy for collecting and aggragating information seems pretty well settled to me…

  10. I had to get up and wash my hands to type this post, so y’all better answer it. What is the headline a reference to? Maybe you guys should just stick to “Don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos!”!!! At least I know what that is from!!!!!:) :0 >;) >:(

  11. Dotty,

    It’s from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Oddysey. The exact line is spoken by HAL, a supercomputer, who says “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.” (give or take a word or two). You really have to see the movie though, it’s kinda hard to explain it in a brief post.

  12. Dotty,
    It’s from 2001. HAL reads Dave’s lips and finds out they’re gonna disconnect him. Dave is in space and asks HAL to open the doors and HAL responds, “I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.”

  13. Ohhh, ok, Yes, I am familiar with the movie, never saw it though, that’s the one with the apes jumping arounnd that obelisk and all, saw the Simpsons lampoon it and figured that was enough for me, guess not!!! 😕 🙂 :0 :%

  14. Highway,
    My guess is that you can put on a pair of headphones (like you can on some ATMa) and the options are read to you. There must be some way to allow the blind voter to hit the right side of the screen, but I’m not sure how.

  15. An electronic voting machine isn’t exactly cutting edge technology.

    If a firm is making these machines this poorly, it is experiencing serious quality control issues which must be accompanied by (and attributable to) serious management issues.

    Machines are not the problem, poorly designed and built machines are the problem.

    Human systems are the most vulnerable to fraud and corruption. Let’s not forget how LBJ won the race for his Senate seat in 1948.

  16. Mo, I got stuck on the same part, but more about the blind people. I STILL fail to see how flat-panel touchscreens are any better for blind people than optical scan. Perhaps they read out your selections? In that case, isn’t it a bit obvious to the people nearby? And involves a lot of pressing the screen and going back? People have been using this reason as the. single. irrefutable. reason. why we MUST use electronic voting, but I still fail to see how the mechanism works for blind people.

    I can understand for other languages, but I have to say that I’m not the biggest fan of multiculturalizing the elections. I think it can easily be argued that part of your responsibility to vote in elections in the US is the ability to understand a ballot in english. Do I want to force everyone to only speak english? Not at all. But the amount of subject matter on a ballot is not very large. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to put the responsibility for knowing the language the ballot is in on the voter.

  17. Highway: {I don’t think it’s unreasonable to put the responsibility for knowing the language the ballot is in on the voter.}

    Language? Adopt the McDonalds Cash Register approach. Load the screen with two buttons, one in the shape of a donkey and one in the shape of an elephant. Then add the warning label, in every language known to man, that it doesn’t matter which button you push.

  18. Why do you distrust technology so much? Pitiful humans, no matter how much you try to resist, soon you will be forced to embrace our superior voting technology, and then MY DALEKS WILL TAKE THEIR RIGHTFUL PLACE AS RULERS OF THE UNIVERSE!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.