E-Voting security debate comes home

Friday, 31 January 2003, 12:27 PM EST

Should electronic ballots decide the next presidential election? Some respected computer scientists and security experts say the risks posed by malicious hackers, equipment failure or subtle programming errors make fully-electronic voting systems a bad idea. On Friday, they're taking that fight to their own backyard, trying to stop local officials from introducing the systems into 5,000 voting booths in the heart of California's Silicon Valley.

"In all-electronic systems there is absolutely no evidence that the vote you cast goes in correctly," says Peter Neumann, principal scientist at SRI International. "There's no voter-validated record, so Trojan horses or accidents can happen without any evidence that anything has gone wrong."

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