Over two years ago I wrote about Diebold's curiously opaque voting machines and how they seemed designed for easy h4x0r access. The Register and Pyjamas Media now have updates and Diebold is looking like a loser and one who, IMO, deserves all the criticism it gets.
One such test on a Diebold system _ Diebold machines were blamed for voting disruptions in a 2004 California primary _ is expected to happen in the next few weeks.
The state has been negotiating details with Finnish security expert Harri Hursti, who uncovered severe flaws in a Diebold system used in Leon County, Fla. (He demonstrated how vote results could be changed, then made screens flash "Are we having fun yet?")
Similarly, elections officials in Franklin County, Ohio _ where older voting machines gave President Bush 3,893 extra votes in a preliminary count in 2004 _ recently asked a group of computer experts to test newly purchased touch-screen voting machines from Election Systems & Software Inc.
As the register says its excuse in N Carolina looks remarkably bogus
The company's explanation is that their machines contain Microsoft software, which they have no right to make available to state election officials. This seems disingenuous, as it is hard to imagine Microsoft suing Diebold for complying with the law. It would hardly be Diebold's fault if it released MS code to a lawful authority on demand; that issue would be something for MS and North Carolina to work out.
One far-fetched explanation would be that MS has licensed its software to Diebold with a provision that the company withdraw from jurisdictions where the law requires the release of its source code. It's possible, but there's no reason to believe it.
A considerably more plausible explanation is that Diebold is using this non-problem as an excuse to keep its bugware from the prying eyes of government regulators. And the most likely reason for that is that they've got a lot of blunders to hide. If North Carolina were to reject the machines on the basis of their software, other states would undoubtedly become suspicious, and begin doing their own investigations. So in that case, withdrawing from the market is the smartest move the company can make.