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Reliability of Pricey New Voting Machines Questioned


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A voting machine demonstration.

Computer security experts continue to express doubts that expensive new voting machines are reliable.

Credit: Matt Rourke/AP

Computer security experts continue to express doubts that expensive new voting machines are reliable, considering them almost as risky as earlier discredited electronic systems.

Called ballot-marking devices, the machines have touchscreens for registering voter choices and print out paper records scanned by optical readers.

South Carolina voters will use the systems, which are at least twice as expensive as the hand-marked paper ballot option, in Saturday's primary.

Daniel Lopresti, a computer scientist at Lehigh University and a South Carolina election commissioner, said, "What we worry is, what happens the next time if there's a programming bug, or a hack or whatever, and it's done in a way that's not obvious?"

Said University of South Carolina’s Duncan Buell, "I don't know that we've ever seen an election computer, a voting computer, whose software was done to a high standard."

From Associated Press
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