In a Florida county notorious for its vote-counting fiasco during last year's presidential election, an offhand remark about student hackers set off a brisk flap in mid-August. A Broward County, Fla., commissioner suggested the county should invite area students to test the security of a computerized voting machine by trying to hack into the system during a mock election.

Broward County school officials spiked the idea right away, saying it would send students the wrong


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