Crisis (of Confidence) Management

Diebold Election Systems has launched a five-year, $1 million "outreach campaign" to educate Maryland residents about its voting machines. The campaign, which will include radio and TV commercials, a website, more than 1.5 million brochures, and voting demonstrations, begins just prior to Maryland's March 2 primary. "The money would be better spent making the system more secure instead of trying to win voter confidence through public relations," replied Johns Hopkins computer science professor Avi Rubin. A study co-authored by Rubin identified serious security flaws with Diebold machines. Strong criticisms of electronic voting led machine manufacturers to form an industry lobbying group late last year.