The New York Times has an excellent article up about the problems with touch-screen and other kinds of electronic voting:
Can You Count on Voting Machines? — Clive Thompson
(It may require you to register to see it. Bugmenot has lots of NYT passwords if you’d rather not join another database.)
Among the many excellent and balanced points made, there is this:
“The earliest critiques of digital voting booths came from the fringe — disgruntled citizens and scared-senseless computer geeks — but the fears have now risen to the highest levels of government.”
If I read that right, all the people who have been concerned about evoting all these years, for mostly the same reasons as the author addresses, were senseless fringe geeks who only happened to be right in the way that stopped clocks are right once a day. Now however, the issue is blessed by the Grey Lady, and the same concern is permissible and dignified. Oh good.
I can’t help pointing out that Canada has (almost) no history of election irregularities, and generally uses a system that doesn’t even seem to be on the radar of any of the election experts the article mentions. We make an X in an O on a little piece of paper, fold it up, then put it in a sealed box which is shipped to a counting center and counted by people. What’s wrong with that, anyway? Our federal elections are regulated, well, federally, so every province and county gets equally reliable elections, instead of the county-by-county business in the US. Silly old US.