A growing number of school board races and bond issues are being decided by a new type of touch-screen voting technology now being used in several states across the nation. The state-of-the-art machines are intended to quell the fear of "hanging chads," still resonating since the Florida presidential election debacle of 2000--but the devices so far have had problems of their own. Critics warn the machines could cast doubt on the outcomes of many elections and referenda in 2004.

Some experts argue the new machines are susceptible to hackers who could sabotage election results. Others...

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