Plagued by hardware defects, security vulnerabilities, and rapidly diminishing credibility, voting machine manufacturer Diebold has been dealt yet another setback as Alaskan state elections are hampered by problems with the company's products. Assorted issues with voting machines in seven precincts forced some election officials to manually count and upload votes.
The Alaskan Democratic Party had anticipated the machine failures, and encouraged voters to use paper ballots in order to ensure that their votes were not discarded or incorrectly counted. Diebold voting machines have a poor track record and a colorful history. The machines were successfully hacked by computer experts hired by Leon County, Florida, and a 2003 study of leaked Diebold voting machine code conducted by security analysts revealed that the code is fundamentally flawed and vulnerable to exploitation in numerous ways. The state of California banned Diebold machines and then sued the company in 2004, asserting that the voting machine manufacturer had installed uncertified software on the machines, violating its agreement with state and calling into question the validity of vote counts conducted with the hardware.
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