James Fallows has an excellent, commonsense column in today's New York Times about electronic voting. Here is a snippet:
A columnist in The Washington Post recently suggested that nostalgia for paper ballots, in today's reliably computerized world, must reflect a Luddite disdain for technology in general or an Oliver Stone-style paranoia about the schemings of the political world.
Not at all. It can also arise from a clear understanding of how computers work - and don't. The more you know about the operations of today's widely trusted commercial computer networks, the more concerned you become about most electronic-voting systems.
He makes a clear argument why electronic voting is not ready yet, both in terms of the technology and the regulation. It may not have tipped the presidential election this time, but we don't know for certain that it did not make a difference at the local level, nor that absent further testing and scrutiny it wouldn't the next time.
Fallows also makes a case along the way for open source software, which gives me reason to point you to the link on the left side of the screen for Firefox. It is one of the gems of the open source movement. For those of you working on a Windows machine and using Internet Explorer to read this, you're sitting on a ticking time bomb. For your sake, beat the hackers and the spyware makers by switching. I recommend Firefox, but Opera would be a big improvement, too. (Don't get one of those shells for IE like Maxthon/MyIE2 because those are just bandaids.)