Ars Technica has some insightful commentary on the current e-voting woes being dealt with by the event horizon of bad e-voting: Ohio’s Cuyahoga County. The short version: Four November 6th elections (which had its own snafus) results are undergoing a recount (due to a victory margin of 1/2 of one percent or less), and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has decided that simply re-printing the recorded ballots from the e-voting machine memory cards is a good enough paper trail. As Ars Technica rightly points out, that violates the entire concept of a voter-verified ballot, as there is no conceivable way to guarantee the printed ballot reflects the voter’s choice rather than say a tampered memory card or simply faulty recording.
Now that’s not to say that I believe that a handful of school board seat contests are ripe for vote tampering, but this half-assed (and ill thought-out) process is indicative of why I abhor e-voting in the first place, as it’s nothing more than trading transparency and legitimacy for the sake of convenience. I certainly appreciate the concept of electronic voting, but so far all it has done is erode any confidence I have in the process, as the makers of said machines have proven themselves incapable of creating a system even a third as secure as your average electronic slot machine.