Diebold Election Systems Inc. expressed alarm and state election officials contacted the FBI yesterday after a former legislator received an anonymous package containing what appears to be the computer code that ran Maryland's polls in 2004.
Cheryl C. Kagan, a longtime critic of Maryland's elections chief, says the fact that the computer disks were sent to her - along with an unsigned note criticizing the management of the state elections board - demonstrates that Maryland's voting system faces grave security threats.
A spokesman for Diebold, which manufactures the state's touch-screen voting machines, said the company is treating the software Kagan received as "stolen" and not as "picked up" at the State Board of Elections, as the anonymous note claimed. Lawyers for the company are seeking its return.
The disclosure comes amid heightened concerns nationwide about the security of the November elections and the ability of the state to keep tight controls on the thousands of machines that will be used next month.
Maryland's September primary - which used voting machines and electronic check-in equipment made by Diebold - suffered a series of mistakes, and the outcomes of some contests were not known for weeks.
This needs to be a huge issue, everywhere. If Republicans can't back fair elections, it's fair to ask why not.
And Robert Kennedy's excellent piece is here.
I want my democracy back.
UPDATE: As Eli notes, this issue is a passion of his, and it's his legitimate concern that convinced me of the importance of it.