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High-Tech Voting Raises Election Anxiety

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Like hundreds of counties, Lehigh, Pa. is re-training its poll workers to run electronic, touch-screen voting machines, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports.

Sal Cordaro is a veteran election judge suffering a bit of election anxiety. He's nervous because Pennsylvania, like 14 other states, does not offer voters a way to see their votes on paper before machines count them.

"What concerns me is after the person voted, I have no way of verifying what that voter did," Cordaro explains.

With 1.4 million poll workers now averaging 70 years of age, man — not machine — could hold the key November 7.

"The concern with new technology is not so much whether the machines work, but whether the people operating them can make them work," says Doug Chapin, director of Electionline.org.

There are concerns in some 18,000 precincts over security and technical support, and the paper printout that is critical in any recount.

Diebold is the largest supplier of electronic voting machines. The absolute control over the election process that a company like Diebold potentially could have — from tabulation, to the software that's inside, to the certification — it's concerning to people.

"It shouldn't be," says Mark Radke, director of Diebold marketing. "I'll be blunt. Diebold does not control the elections. We provide the election equipment."

In fact, Radke says the machines are more secure and accurate than the paper machines.

"We can't lose that information because it's redundantly stored within the unit, and it's encrypted," he says.

Even if your vote is saved in multiple places, some question the reliability of the machines because vendors choose and pay the labs that test them. Critics say that's like a trial lawyer being able to pick a judge.

"Many voting systems that have been analyzed have met these standards, have been certified, and are totally insecure," says Avi Rubin, author of "Brave New Ballot."

And election officials admit that systems errors – computer or human – often go unreported by worried poll workers.

"They don't want their mistakes to be out in a public forum," says Alice Miller, executive director of the Board of Elections and Ethics.

So next Tuesday may well be a referendum not only on who we vote for, but how.