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San jose technical problems reported { March 2 2004 }

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March 2, 2004
Technical Problems Reported in E-Voting

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Electronic voting made its debut in cities and towns from Maryland to California on Tuesday as election officials beefed up security for the record number of voters expected to cast E-ballots for the first time.

Scattered technical problems were reported in the early hours as voters in 10 states, including California, New York and Ohio, went to the Super Tuesday polls to choose a Democratic presidential nominee and decide primary contests for congressional and state races.

Advocates of electronic voting say paperless ballots save money and eliminate problems common to old systems. But the technology brings a new breed of security concerns, like software errors and hackers that could make the results unreliable.

In California, new security measures range from random tests of touch-screen machines by independent computer experts to a recommendation that poll workers prevent voters from carrying cell phones or other wireless devices into booths.

Overall, some 10 million people in at least two dozen states were expected to cast ballots in primaries this year on machines built by Diebold, Sequoia Voting Systems, Electronic Systems & Software and other vendors.

And the electronic voting trend is accelerating: In November's presidential election, at least 50 million people will vote on touch-screens, compared with 55 million using paper, punch cards or lever machines, according to Washington-based Election Data Services.

One Maryland polling place had to switch to paper ballots Tuesday because its new electronic voting machines didn't work. State elections supervisor Linda Lamone said technicians expected to have the problem fixed quickly.

Voters also had to start out using paper ballots in Georgia's Effingham County. Chris Riggall, a spokesman for Secretary of State Cathy Cox, said county officials apparently forgot to program the encoders - devices used to tell ballot access cards, which voters insert into the machines, what ballot to display.

Will Your Vote Count? Read I-Team 8's investigation into problems with electronic voting machines.

(Copyright 2004 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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Republican county commissioner has concerns { March 4 2004 }
San bernardino county blames human error for delay { March 3 2004 }
San jose technical problems reported { March 2 2004 }
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