By Ian Hoffman
Software files have company in double bind with state, feds
For more than two years, Diebold Election Systems Inc. has hit one political or technical snag after another trying to reap more than $40 million in voting-machine sales in California.
Now only a collection of tiny software files on Diebold's latest voting machines stand in the way of those revenues and more. Last summer, a Finnish computer expert using an agricultural device found he could rig the votes stored on Diebold's memory cards and rewrite one of those files to cover his tracks.
The revelation posed a double problem for Diebold: Not only could its optical-scanning voting machines be hacked, but state and federal rules for more than a year have forbidden those files in voting machines.