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11/4/2006
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E-Voting Gaffe Reported

Elections Science Institute says e-voting systems could have been exposed to computer viruses.


Ohio election workers count the vote during the primary -- Photo by  Jamie-Andrea Yanak/AP

This week's midterm elections will test whether states and counties worked out glitches in e-voting systems that they found during the primaries. What's happening in Ohio and Maryland is typical of the just-in-time learning.

Ohio election workers count the vote during the primary

Photo by Jamie-Andrea Yanak/AP

Last Thursday, the nonprofit Elections Science Institute alleged that memory cards that will be used in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, elections could've been exposed to viruses, since they were put in laptops to archive primary election returns to CDs. "Memory cards are the ballot boxes of those systems," says Steven Hertzberg, project manager at the institute. The county checked its laptops for viruses before using them, a spokesman says.

In Montgomery County, Md., officials promise no repeat of September's primaries, when 238 precincts didn't receive e-voting system access cards in time. The night before the election, they'll get a "critical supply bag" that includes access cards and other materials. ESI worries opening the bags early also opens the door to possible security breaches. Sounds like it'll be a tense Election Day.

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