SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A growing number of federal and state legislators are expressing doubts about the integrity of the ATM-like electronic voting machines that at least 50 million Americans will use to cast ballots in November.
Computer scientists have long criticized the so-called touchscreen machines as not being much more reliable than home computers, which can crash, malfunction, and fall prey to hackers and viruses.
Now, a series of failures and glitches in primaries across the nation has shaken confidence in the technology installed at thousands of precincts nationwide. Despite reassurances from the machines' makers, at least 20 states have introduced legislation requiring a paper record of every vote cast.
On Thursday, a California panel urecommended a ban on a popular Diebold paperless touchscreen model -- a move that could force Diebold and other manufacturers to overhaul their business practices nationwide. Secretary of State Kevin Shelley has until Friday to decide whether to decertify Diebold and other touchscreen terminals in California.