You could call it buyer’s remorse. Five US states went all in on electronic voting machines, and four of those states are poised to get out. Delaware, Georgia, Louisiana, New Jersey and South Carolina are the only states relying solely on voting machines that produce no paper record of an individual voter’s ballot. All but Georgia are on the cusp of swapping those out for new machines that print out a paper record of each completed ballot — and Georgia is under pressure to do the same. None, though, will be ready for next week’s determined the 2000 presidential election. … Hackers could also infiltrate the computers that tabulate results, as security experts found when they examined voting-related software at the annual Defcon hacking conference this year, and they could attack or alter the websites that announce winners. The Defcon experts also found half of US states are using voting machines that have known software vulnerabilities.. It’s the next step in voting systems since Florida’s infamous hanging chads and butterfly ballots
That’s why Appel now says a paper record of each ballot is just the start. Election agencies also need to carry out something called a risk-limiting audit, in which human inspectors physically look at a certain number of ballots to make sure things appear consistent.
“The purpose is to detect fraud,” Appel said in an interview. “It’s to make sure that the voting machines were not lying to us about what’s on the paper.”
… Barbara Simons, an advocate for paper-based voting at the nonprofit Verified Voting, said paper records are a form of “disaster recovery” when things go wrong with electronic voting machines. “You have the ability to recover from anything, whether it’s a programming error, or a mistake, or hacking,” she said.