Attorney General Gansler Announces
$8.5 Million Claim Against Voting System Manufacturer
State Seeks to Recover Costs Incurred to Provide Voters an
Accurate, Reliable, and Secure System
MD (December 24, 2008) – Attorney General Douglas
F. Gansler today announced that the State of Maryland has presented
Premier Election Solutions (formerly known as Global Election Systems,
Inc. and Diebold Elections Systems, Inc.) with a claim to recover
costs the State incurred to correct flaws in the touch screen voting
system supplied by the company.
In December 2001,
the State contracted with Diebold Election Systems, Inc. (Diebold)
to provide a touch screen voting system
including hardware, software, documentation and support services.
The State’s payments to Diebold under the voting system contract
have totaled approximately $90 million. After the State’s
initial acceptance of the new system, expert, independent investigations
revealed concealed security vulnerabilities in the voting system.
In response to those investigations, beginning in Fiscal Year 2004,
the State and Diebold implemented measures to cure the deficiencies
that were identified.
“The citizens of Maryland must have a voting system they
can trust, and Diebold promised to provide such a system,” said
Attorney General Gansler. “Yet the equipment supplied by
Diebold had vulnerabilities that needed to be fixed before it could
be used in State elections. Under the terms of the contract, the
company must reimburse the State for its costs of fixing Diebold’s
voting system to make it more accurate, reliable, and secure.”
Diebold recently presented the State with nearly $4 million in
bills arising from services it provided for the 2008 elections
under the voting system contract. As allowed by the contract and
State law, the State is withholding payment on those and future
bills from Diebold until the dispute is settled.
The deficiencies in the Diebold system, as originally supplied
by the company, included but were not limited to:
- The voting
system was not compliant with the State’s
information Security Policy and Standards;
- There was a need
for the State to put into place an integrated process to
ensure the integrity of the system;
- The system did not
provide for election vote totals to be transmitted with cryptographic
protocols with 100% verification of the
- The system required
a risk assessment of its operation and every significant modification
of the system requires a
assessment to be performed;
- The system lacked
adequate access controls;
- The system lacked
provisions to assure that only certified software was loaded;
- The system’s audit logs were not properly configured.
To implement corrective measures, the State incurred costs for
consulting and technical services, personnel and logistics, and
materials and supplies. The State estimates the total cost of these
expenditures, to date, at $8.47 million.