Could crackers steal the 2004 election?

Friday, 1 August 2003, 12:22 PM EST

After the hanging-chad fiasco of the 2000 presidential election, Congress funded a nationwide drive to replace punch-card ballots and lever-operated voting machines in time for November 2004. The Help America Vote Act of 2002, or HAVA, authorized $3.9 billion over three years to help state and local governments upgrade their election equipment. The only replacements being considered seriously are electronic voting booths: stand-alone kiosks for which voters are given an encrypted smartcard that identifies them to the computer and lets them vote exactly once.

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