Computer voting was supposed to revolutionize elections. But has it just updated old problems?
The lessons of Florida's 2000 election debacle were painfully clear: Butterfly ballots and punch cards are no way to run an election. Vowing never again, Congress pledged nearly $4 billion to fund voting modernization, and tech firms rushed computerized voting terminals to market, promising modern convenience and digital accuracy.
But a closer look at electronic voting finds the new machines far from fail-safe. Tech experts say voting-terminal technology lags years behind the state of the art in both encryption and design. Not only are the machines susceptible to the kinds of voting mishaps--undervotes, misvotes--that produced Bush v. Gore, but they also may be vulnerable to hackers bent on stealing an election.