Diebold boss admits error
“Walden W. O’Dell, the chairman and chief executive of Diebold Inc., said on Monday that it had been a ‘huge mistake’ for him, as the head of a voting machine company, to express support for President Bush’s re-election in a fund-raising letter last year. Mr. O’Dell also said the company was working to address computer security problems and build voter confidence in its wares.
In a meeting with reporters and editors from The New York Times, Mr. O’Dell by turns apologized for mistakes and stood up for what he said the company had done right.
‘The country had a crisis’ after the 2000 debacle, he said; his company realized that ‘we could help; it would be an opportunity to serve, and it would be a good business.’
Mr. O’Dell drew criticism of his company in August when he sent an invitation to a fund-raising party that said, ‘I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.’ He said he had not written it himself, though he declined to say who had, and intended only to sign a ‘party invitation.'”