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corporate dominance | election fraud

Diebold Voting Machine Controversy in Ohio

Walden O'Dell--chief executive of Diebold Inc. and active in the re-election effort of President Bush--sent an Aug. 14 letter to central Ohio Republicans asking them to raise $10,000 in donations in time for a Sept. 26 Ohio Republican Party event at his home, saying that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.
Walden W. O'Dell, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Diebold, Inc.
Walden W. O'Dell, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Diebold, Inc.
Voting machine controversy

08/28/03
Julie Carr Smyth
Plain Dealer Bureau

Columbus - The head of a company vying to sell voting machines in Ohio told Republicans in a recent fund-raising letter that he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year."

The Aug. 14 letter from Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold Inc. - who has become active in the re-election effort of President Bush - prompted Democrats this week to question the propriety of allowing O'Dell's company to calculate votes in the 2004 presidential election.

O'Dell attended a strategy pow-wow with wealthy Bush benefactors - known as Rangers and Pioneers - at the president's Crawford, Texas, ranch earlier this month. The next week, he penned invitations to a $1,000-a-plate fund-raiser to benefit the Ohio Republican Party's federal campaign fund - partially benefiting Bush - at his mansion in the Columbus suburb of Upper Arlington.

The letter went out the day before Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, also a Republican, was set to qualify Diebold as one of three firms eligible to sell upgraded electronic voting machines to Ohio counties in time for the 2004 election.

Blackwell's announcement is still in limbo because of a court challenge over the fairness of the selection process by a disqualified bidder, Sequoia Voting Systems.

In his invitation letter, O'Dell asked guests to consider donating or raising up to $10,000 each for the federal account that the state GOP will use to help Bush and other federal candidates - money that legislative Democratic leaders charged could come back to benefit Blackwell.

They urged Blackwell to remove Diebold from the field of voting-machine companies eligible to sell to Ohio counties.

This is the second such request in as many months. State Sen. Jeff Jacobson, a Dayton-area Republican, asked Blackwell in July to disqualify Diebold after security concerns arose over its equipment.

"Ordinary Ohioans may infer that Blackwell's office is looking past Diebold's security issues because its CEO is seeking $10,000 donations for Blackwell's party - donations that could be made with statewide elected officials right there in the same room," said Senate Democratic Leader Greg DiDonato.

Diebold spokeswoman Michelle Griggy said O'Dell - who was unavailable to comment personally - has held fund-raisers in his home for many causes, including the Columbus Zoo, Op era Columbus, Catholic Social Services and Ohio State University.

Ohio GOP spokesman Jason Mauk said the party approached O'Dell about hosting the event at his home, the historic Cotswold Manor, and not the other way around. Mauk said that under federal campaign finance rules, the party cannot use any money from its federal account for state- level candidates.

"To think that Diebold is somehow tainted because they have a couple folks on their board who support the president is just unfair," Mauk said.

Griggy said in an e-mail statement that Diebold could not comment on the political contributions of individual company employees.

Blackwell said Diebold is not the only company with political connections - noting that lobbyists for voting-machine makers read like a who's who of Columbus' powerful and politically connected.

"Let me put it to you this way: If there was one person uniquely involved in the political process, that might be troubling," he said. "But there's no one that hasn't used every legitimate avenue and bit of leverage that they could legally use to get their product looked at. Believe me, if there is a political lever to be pulled, all of them have pulled it."

Blackwell said he stands by the process used for selecting voting machine vendors as fair, thorough and impartial.

As of yesterday, however, that determination lay with Ohio Court of Claims Judge Fred Shoemaker.

He heard closing arguments yesterday over whether Sequoia was unfairly eliminated by Blackwell midway through the final phase of negotiations.

Shoemaker extended a temporary restraining order in the case for 14 days, but said he hopes to issue his opinion sooner than that.
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Thursday, August 28, 2003

Election machine firm blasted

By LEO SHANE III
N-M Columbus Bureau
 http://www.thenews-messenger.com/news/stories/20030828/localnews/150004.html
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COLUMBUS -- Democratic leaders want a major Republican fund-raiser blocked from becoming the state's new voting machines supplier, saying his presence puts in doubt the fairness of all Ohio elections.

Wally O'Dell, CEO of Diebold Inc., this week sent out letters to central Ohio Republicans asking them to raise $10,000 in donations in time for a Sept. 26 Ohio Republican Party event at his home.

His company, which specializes in security and election machinery, is one of three under consideration to supply new, electronic voting machines to replace punch card machines still in use in 71 Ohio counties.

House Minority Leader Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, and Senate Minority Leader Greg DiDonato, D-New Philadelphia, on Tuesday petitioned Secretary of State Ken Blackwell to drop O'Dell's company from the list of potential suppliers, saying his presence could undermine Ohio's entire election system.

"The whole point of this upgrade is to ensure fairness," Redfern said. "The inevitable appearance here is of a pay-to-play system."

In his invitation, O'Dell states his support for the Republican Party and notes he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the President next year."

Redfern said letting O'Dell supply the machines for that election after making such a bold statement would be foolish.

Blackwell's office accused the Democrats of injecting party politics into a fair and open process.

"Secretary Blackwell has worked very hard to keep the process free of partisan influence," said Carlo LoParo, spokesman for Blackwell. "Redfern and DiDonato want to exclude someone ... simply because they don't like their politics. That is disgraceful."

LoParo said Blackwell will not attend O'Dell's event and will not benefit from his fund-raising, because all of the money will be earmarked for federal elections.

But LoParo insisted that none of that was even considered by Blackwell during the bidding process and that his office is confident the process was free from favoritism.

Upgrading the voting machines has proven to be problematic for Blackwell. Last week, he announced having the machines in place for next March's primary will be impossible because of security concerns with the new technology and funding delays in paying for the equipment.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal suit saying punch-card machines are unfair and must be done away with before the March primary.

And a potential supplier eliminated from consideration -- Sequoia Voting Systems -- has sued Blackwell's office over its dismissal from the process.

The Sequoia lawsuit has prevented Blackwell from releasing information about the bidding process and three potential suppliers, but LoParo said that information will be made public once the legal issue is resolved.

"This has been a well-documented and comprehensive bid process," he said. "We invite the highest level of scrutiny."

Redfern said the least Blackwell should do is ask O'Dell to cancel the fund-raising event.

"For appearances' sake, the best thing we can do is to remove Diebold from the process," he said. "Otherwise, we risk giving Ohioans the impression that our very election process itself is unfair."
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Let's watch the California recall vote very closely 29.Aug.2003 19:41

mcmoony

They will be using electronic voting machines for the first time in CA. And what's with this recall anyway? Last chance before November 2004 to practice "delivering votes" to a pre-selected candidate?

There were some very surprising outcomes of the mid-term elections, especially in states where these machines were used. E.g.: In Georgia, where computerized voting machines were used in EVERY precinct, incumbent Sen. Max Cleland (D) lost his seat to to Saxby Chambliss, whose campaign had smeared Cleland as "unpatriotic." Cleland lost three limbs in Vietnam. Chambliss is still bragging about the upset on his website (link below).

In 2002 we got no exit polls to compare with official results, no hard copy of ballots to recount, and certainly no access to the computer code inside the "black box." And so many Americans are still sleeping. These machines would appear to have been DESIGNED for election fraud.


 http://64.239.13.64/free/ww3/110602_elections.html

 http://www.thenation.com/outrage/index.mhtml?bid=6&pid=794

 http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/senators/one_item_and_teasers/chambliss.htm

 http://www.saxby.org/

Some interesting interviews... 31.Aug.2003 15:20

mcmoony

about the Diebold scam in Georgia.


 http://www.blackboxvoting.org/lies.htm