Traditional voting systems are typically expensive and require a great deal of manpower to implement. Because of this, technology firms have begun proposing electronic alternatives (e-voting) that could one day be implemented in national races—however, security experts remain hesitant, Yahoo! Tech reports. When Washington DC recently flipped the switch on a new e-voting option that it planned to use to tally absentee ballots for local elections, the experts’ point was proven: a fictional, beer-guzzling robot was elected as the head of the DC school board. Before using the new online voting program for a real race, the DC election board posed a world-wide challenge to anyone who thought they could crack the system. A team of computer experts from the University of Michigan quickly pried the digital gates wide open and began to snoop around. This was aided by the fact that the engineers who set up the supposedly bullet-proof used the word “admin” as both the username and password of the servers holding the election information. While the tricksters from Michigan were working their magic, other hackers from as far off as China were doing their best to push their way in as well. The team was prepared for this, and managed to block all others from accessing the data that they were working hard to alter…

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staff and wire services reports