Friday, December 08, 2006

It's About Time

The New York Times is reporting today that we should be expecting wholesale changes in the method of electronic voting to be used in 2008, compared to what was used in 2006. Specifically, it seems that there is now a growing movement to eliminate paperless voting systems in favor of systems with paper "receipts." As has been pointed out here (at at the Social Econ Blog, among many other places) in the past, paperless voting makes it impossible to tell if someone has messed with the computerized vote tallying. With printed receipts, the computerized tallies can be compared to the paper copies when irregularities are suspected.

This is definitely a step in the right direction, and frankly, I'm a little shocked that we're moving to paper-trail computerized voting absent a serious debacle that proves to everyone the dangers of paperless voting. Fortunately, the sporadic, relatively minor issues that have been raised about the '06 voting seem to have been enough to scare voting officials away from paperless.