Saturday, November 15, 2003

Boycott Diebold ATM's

Remember the plane (or here) crash that killed Diebold chief operating officer Wesley B. Vance in May? In the light of all the many amazing things that have happened to Diebold since May, doesn't that mysterious death take on an added significance? After Vance's death, extreme partisan Republican Walden W. O'Dell took over running the company "until a successor is named", and is still running it. With all the problems that Diebold has had, I think its fair to say he's not running it very well. O'Dell described Vance as "a deeply religious person". Might he have had too many religious and moral qualms to run a company like Diebold? Woodie Guthrie had a sticker on his guitar that said "This Machine Kills Fascists". I wonder if Diebold voting machines have a sign inside them somewhere which says "This Machine Elects Republicans". Despite the massive problems with Diebold machines - it seems a new startling revelation of some fundamental snafu every week - and its attempts to stifle debate on the basis of democracy through a bogus use of the DMCA, corrupt politicians and clueless election bureaucrats continue to buy Diebold machines. No one seems able to stop them. Americans can't talk about the problem, and democracy is being lost touchscreen voting machine by touchscreen voting machine, day by day. It seems to me that progressive Americans are losing heart at what seems to be insurmountable obstacles put up by the fascists. What can be done? Diebold's main business isn't voting machines. It's automated teller machines. Banks are extremely sensitive about losing customers, and love ATM's, where they can charge huge fees without having to pay salaries to human beings. Diebold's share price would be very sensitive to any hint that banks might have to change major purchasing decisions based on the fact that they might be facing a boycott of their ATM's. If Americans are concerned about the effective loss of their right to vote, they should vote with their feet. Stop using Diebold ATM's. If a bank has nothing but Diebold ATM's, change banks. Let the banks know why they are losing customers. Forcing Diebold out of the election business would be an excellent first step in regaining democracy, and getting some fight back into the hearts of American progressives.