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Touch-Pad Voting Is Far From Perfect

June 08, 2003

The frivolity of the picture "No More Punching" (June 4) belies the gravity of the situation with voting machines. Touch-pad electronic machines are being recommended all over the country as a panacea to the problems in Florida.

Many notable computer scientists are wary of the new machines, and for good reason. Think about this: A malicious code can be installed that allows the machines to pass all certification and field-testing. The code can be programmed to activate at the time of an election and switch everyone's vote. This would not be obvious to the voter or the district. As much as we all love technology, we should beware. Computer scientists recommend a voter-verifiable audit trail, as a starter, for guaranteeing free elections.

Sue Miller

Santa Monica

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