25 September 2014

EFF Goes to Court to Force E-voting Company to Comply With
Strict New North Carolina Law

Raleigh, North Carolina - The Electronic Frontier
Foundation (EFF) is going to court in North Carolina to
prevent Diebold Election Systems, Inc. from evading North
Carolina law.

In a last-minute filing, e-voting equipment maker Diebold
asked a North Carolina court to exempt it from tough new
election requirements designed to ensure transparency in
the state's elections. Diebold obtained an extraordinarily
broad order, allowing it to avoid placing its source code
in escrow with the state and identifying programmers who
contributed to the code.

On behalf of North Carolina voter and election integrity
advocate Joyce McCloy, EFF asked the court to force Diebold
and every other North Carolina equipment vendor to comply
with the law's requirements. A hearing on EFF's motion is
set for Monday, November 28.

"The new law was passed for a reason: to ensure that the
voters of North Carolina have confidence in the integrity
and accuracy of their elections," said EFF Staff Attorney
Matt Zimmerman. "In stark contrast to every other equipment
vendor that placed a bid with the state, Diebold went to
court complaining that it simply couldn't comply with the
law. Diebold should spend its efforts developing a system
that voters can trust, not asking a court to let it bypass
legal requirements aimed at ensuring voting integrity."

On November 4, the day that voting equipment bids to the
state were due, Diebold obtained a temporary restraining
order from a North Carolina superior court, exempting it
from criminal and civil liability that could have resulted
from its bid. EFF, with the assistance from the North
Carolina law firm of Twiggs, Beskind, Strickland & Rabenau,
P.A., intervened in the case on behalf of McCloy, the
founder of the North Carolina Coalition for Verified
Voting. In a brief filed Wednesday, EFF argued that
Diebold had failed to show why it was unable to meet
various new election law provisions requiring source code
escrow and identification of programmers. North Carolina
experienced one of the most serious malfunctions of
e-voting systems in the 2004 presidential election when
over 4,500 ballots were lost in a voting system provided by
Diebold competitor UniLect Corp. Local officials were
forced to re-run a portion of the election. The new
transparency and integrity provisions of the North Carolina
election code were passed in response to this and other
documented malfunctions that have occurred across the

The North Carolina Board of Elections is scheduled to
announce winning voting equipment vendors on December 1,

For the brief filed in the case:


For this release:


About EFF

The Electronic Frontier Foundation is the leading civil
liberties organization working to protect rights in the
digital world. Founded in 1990, EFF actively encourages and
challenges industry and government to support free
expression and privacy online. EFF is a member-supported
organization and maintains one of the most linked-to
websites in the world at http://www.eff.org/