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McPherson Vouches for Election Day Security

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Just how much can you really trust a computer? This is the question being posed by concerned San Diegans about the electronic voting machines that will be used in next Tuesday's general election. Worried voters want assurance that their votes will be counted and reported accurately on election day. Full Focus reporter Heather Hill has more.

Secretary of State Bruce McPherson was in San Diego today to vouch for Election Day security. He joined San Diego County Registrar of Voters Michael Haas in seeking to quell public anxiety about the new electronic system. They responded to worries that the voting system could be corrupted by computer hackers and the potential for software error. McPherson says the voting machines were put through a rigorous certification process before they were approved for use in California.

McPherson: I have established the strictest standards in the nation for these systems before I certified them in a three-tier process in which they received federal certification, state certification and then ultimately approval by each county's Board of Supervisors to determine which of those certified systems best fits the needs of their constituents."

Mcpherson said he's also adopting two election day reliability checks in eight counties. Randomly selected voting machines will be pulled and tested for accuracy, and San Diego will be one of 31 counties to have on-site observers monitoring polling places.  County Registrar of Voters Mikel Haas emphasized the tamper-resistant nature of the machines as a way to address concerns about poll workers taking the machines home before Election Day and vandals hacking into the equipment.  

Haas: It is a federal crime to tamper with election equipment or to try to interfere in any way with the conduct of an election. This is serious business. This isn't some game that someone may say, "Wow, lets try this because maybe we'll be able to hack it." We're going to know it and we're going to go after anyone that tries it.

A nonpartisan organization for fair elections has launched a national voter assistance hotline. If you have any problems at the polls, you can report them to the election protection coalition at 1-866-our-vote.

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