October 30, 2008

SO I’VE BEEN PUSHING FOR PAPER BALLOTS SINCE BEFORE THE 2002 ELECTIONS, but now we’re seeing some real movement in that direction:

Maryland will scrap its $65 million electronic system and go back to paper ballots in time for the 2010 midterm elections — and will still be paying for the abandoned system until 2014. In Virginia, localities are moving to paper after the General Assembly voted last year to phase out electronic voting machines as they wear out.

It was just a few years ago that electronic voting machines were heralded as a computerized panacea to the hanging chad, a state-of-the-art system immune to the kinds of hijinks and confusion that some say make paper ballots vulnerable. But now, after concern that the electronic voting machines could crash or be hacked, the two states are swinging away from the systems, saying paper ballots filled out by hand are more reliable, especially in a recount.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. But I said it earlier! Related items here and here. Plus, Ed Cone interviews Bruce Schneier on voting machine security. Schneier also has a new book on security; I haven’t read it, but I’m a fan of his in general.