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Former State Officials Push Voting Systems

November 12, 2003

Re "Ex-Officials Now Behind New Voting Machines," Nov. 10: Are these altruistic people concerned about all aspects of the multimillion-dollar systems? As someone with a 22-year career in software systems who is concerned about security and testing and has used an electronic voting machine, I have mixed feelings.

The machines are easy and efficient, yet the systems may not have been thoroughly and independently tested. Internal and external security precautions may be inadequate or nonexistent. There may not be a backup plan if an electricity grid loses power. Tampering and patching could alter the election results. System developers with a political bias may have that bias built into the software.

And there does not seem to be a paper trail to assure that each vote counts as intended. After billions of dollars have been spent, what is to prevent voting catastrophes?

Joan Forman

Redondo Beach

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