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State Examines Voting Problems

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California´s secretary of state is cracking down on voting equipment vendors to address concerns that election results are vulnerable to hackers, software bugs and mechanical breakdowns.

Kevin Shelley introduced a 9-page list of reforms today that includes requiring all electronic voting machines to be capable of issuing paper receipts that could be used to verify votes by 2006.

That means manufacturers will have to retrofit touch-screen systems already being used in at least four California counties.

Shelley also introduced stricter requirements for the testing and auditing of the software that´s used to count votes.

Voting rights advocates say that because of California´s size, the move could affect the type of voting equipment used throughout the country as precincts rush to modernize their systems in time for next year´s presidential primaries.