California rejects Diebold

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California has chosen to not use an electronic voting machine made by Diebold Election Systems after a series of tests found problems that could potentially freeze out some voters.

Diebold spokesman David Bear confirmed published accounts that the Diebold TSx touch-screen machines, newly equipped with printers to generate a paper trail, suffered printer jams during tests. Some machines froze.

Bear said the problems were not severe and the company plans to resubmit the product for state approval. “We cast 10,721 ballots, and it’s my understanding they had 10 paper jams," he said.

Published accounts also reported about 10 paper jams during the course of an intense one-day test election, along with screen freezes. Secretary of State Bruce McPherson believed the problem to be widespread enough to justify forbidding the machines’ use in the state, according to one article.

Diebold has run afoul of California before. In November 2004, the company paid $2.6 million to settle a lawsuit with the state, which accused the vendor of misleading state officials about the security and certification of some of its machines. That came after several months of conflict with then-Secretary of State Kevin Shelley.

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