Wednesday, November 01, 2006

HBO votes against Diebold's documentary request

HBO rejected a call by Diebold Election Systems (Wikipedia article) to pull the documentary "Hacking Democracy" from its schedule or air company disclaimers questioning the accuracy of film.

In a letter to HBO chairman and CEO Chris Albrecht, Diebold seeks to have 30-second disclaimers before, after and during the docu that is critical of the computerized election systems that are used in most precincts nationwide. The film is scheduled to air Thursday.

HBO spokesman Jeff Cusson said the company "stands by our film and has no intention of withdrawing the film from its schedule."

Diebold contends that previews of the docu contains serious "material errors" that make the film inaccurate.

"The material errors and material misrepresentations are so egregious that HBO should pull the documentary," Diebold president David Byrd wrote. "Failing that, a pre-aring rebuttal and disclaimer are not only appropriate but also in the best interests of HBO and its subscribers."

In particular, Diebold is upset about claims made in promotional materials provided on HBO's Web site that problems with Diebold machines caused widespread errors in the 2000 election. In its letter, Diebold points out that the company entered the electronic voting business in 2002.

You can read more of the article at Hollywood Reporter's site.

Diebold maintains that they only entered the electronic voting business in 2002, though they bought out another company that had operated electronic voting machines since 1991. In August 2003, Walden O'Dell, chief executive of Diebold, announced that he had been a top fund-raiser for President George W. Bush and had sent a get-out-the-funds letter to Ohio Republicans. In the letters he says he is "committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year." The company has also been beseiged by scandals, fraud allegations, concerns about secrecy and accusations of defective software. They are quick at rebutting media criticism, as a look at their home page shows.


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