Official: “What good is democracy if it’s not fun and unpredictable?”
Diebold Elections Systems confirmed today that the latest version of their proprietary voting software includes numerous cheat codes which can be used by voters to unlock special ballot areas which award votes to candidates via several unique, interactive methods.
Video-game channel G4’s Cheat! series originally broke the story during last week’s broadcast after a review of Diebold’s brand-new software.
A Diebold official acknowledged the presence of the cheat codes, which have since been published on several websites and in gaming magazines.
“The cheat codes are there to make voting more fun,” said a Diebold spokesperson. “This way, if you get stuck on the second level of a screen of boring amendments, you don’t have to just quit. You can enter a code and it opens a whole new realm of entertainment and interaction.”
“Our research shows that the demographics of voters are changing, that younger people are using our products. This is merely an effort to reach a new audience. We’re a business after all, and satisfying our customers is our bottom line — whether it’s a state elections official or not.”
Reports of working cheat codes and their effects are floating around the internet in forums and chat rooms.
“To get to the networked version of Grand Theft Auto: Washington, DC, you hit ‘Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Start’ before you do anything. You’ll then be able to play against any other voters in the same precinct as you,” read one example found at a cheat code community website.
“The best advice I can give you is to find a Rampage power-up and take out as many people who are registered as whatever political party you want to nail — just look for the elephant or donkey icon over their heads — or looking at the skin color often is just as good if you’re mowing people down en masse. Also, the flame thrower is your friend,” the website informed.
Early voters claim that Diebold’s tweaks truly enhance the voting experience.
“They’ve really improved the graphics. The modeling and shading is beautiful, and if you’re any good you can get your candidate an extra thousand-or-so votes,” said a Volusia County, Florida man who voted early.
“Unfortunately, the dude next to me kinda sucked, so he had negative votes for his candidate after it was all over, whoever that was” said the voter. “Sorry dude, but that’s democracy. Right?”