Campaign '04: The Vexations Of Voting Machines

Kinks in e-voting systems have given rise to a backlash. Are the machines reliable enough?

Jeffrey Liss had finished making his selections on Maryland's Democratic-primary ballot and strolled out of the polling place at Chevy Chase Elementary School on the morning of March 2, Super Tuesday. On the sidewalk, he spied a campaign poster for Senator Barbara Mikulski, who is running for her fourth term. Funny, he thought, he didn't remember voting in the Senate race.

Liss went back inside to talk to an election official. And another, and another. He was told he must have overlooked the Senate race on the electronic touch-screen voting machine. But Liss, a lawyer, finally persuaded a technician to...

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