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An electronic voting machine is setup for Miami voters to learn from before casting their ballots during early voting August 21, 2006. - 


SCOTT JAGOW: You all set to vote tomorrow? Chances are you'll be using an electronic voting machine. Since the hanging chad controversy of 2000, the federal government's spent more than $3 billion installing a higher-tech balloting system. But it's not without its critics. Marketplace's Hillary Wicai reports.

HILLARY WICAI: Most voters will be using touch-screen machines or filling out ballots that are then fed through electronic scanners. But many are skeptical.

Princeton researchers and voter advocates report they've been able to hack the machines.

Lots of people ask 'if we can have ATM's at banks that work fine, why can't we have fool-proof voting machines?' Charles Stewart at MIT says you get what you pay for.

CHARLES STEWART:"An ATM costs 10 times more than a voting machine. The voting machines have in fact been developed on the cheap, sold on the cheap. Not a lot has been put in to their research and development.

Stewart says to be fair the problems of the 2000 election have largely been addressed. Ballots are easier to read and many fewer votes are lost.

Meanwhile advocacy groups across the country are mobilizing to monitor ballot casting and counting.

In Washington, I'm Hillary Wicai for Marketplace.