Armed Liberal at Winds of Change is discussing the virtues or lack of them of electronic voting I get my 2¢ in of course. My conclusions:
I think electronic counting of paper ballots would be OK.The important criteria for a voting system are:
Make the counters cheap enough and you have two machines from different mfgs. count the ballots.
If they agree each sends on the results. If not. Manual recount from the roving recount team.
The main thing is to have checks on the system. Just like double entry book keeping.
In a disputed election a manual recount is possible if the party wishes to pay for it.
How do you dispute bits in a Diebold machine?
The system not only has to give the technically adept confidence, it has to give confidence to the ordinary citizen. Paper. Electronically counted twice. Hand counted only when the electronics disagree.
Some Democrats think Republicans are stealing elections with Diebold machines.
Let them pay for a recount of paper ballots.
Honest open systems give confidence that the voting was fairly done.
Confidence is as important as accuracy.
It should be part of the specification although not exactly quatifiable.
It is critical that losers be as confident as winners in the system. It reduces the odds of extremely sore losers taking matters into their own hands.
Confidence in the Vote
Anonymity of the Ballot
Accuracy of the Count
Ability to Recheck the Results
Update: 22 Aug '06 1442z
The discussion continues at The Captain's Quarters