I am the modren man
So pardon me if I don't much truck with these new-fangled voting computers.
As a certain college president I know is fond of saying, it smacks of "have I got a tool for you!" Sure, they're brighter and shinier and better for Diebold shareholders. But is a digital solution really the best one?
A technophile librarian can get some grief for saying that computerized is not always best. But I respect paper as a magnificent technology. It's ubiquitous, it's universal, it's straightforward yet flexible, and it's been around long enough that we shouldn't be surprised by it very often. Why should we turn away from that just because it doesn't have a power cord? (One of these days I have to get around to reading some Henry Petroski.)
In 2000, the Florida election was a mess because of a badly designed paper ballot, but it's not right to blame paper itself for that. And in 2004, the Gambier elections were a mess because of old computers, but again, new computers aren't necessarily the only answer.
(To be fair, there are two obvious benefits to voting on computer. It's a lot easier to correct a mistake on a digital ballot than a paper one. You don't have to look at a person and admit you messed up. Theoretically, electronic voting could also be a lot more accessible to the handicapped or illiterate. Zooming screens and audio output are a given in personal computers; they ought to be available for voting machines.)
The computer security issues get a lot of press, but it's not an argument that holds up to scrutiny. Hacking the software assumes a high level of access to the machines. So in fact, the first issue is physical security, just as it is for paper ballots. If election workers are so poorly trained that they let cabbies picked at random deliver voting machines, well, securing the software is about one hundred forty-fifth on the list of things to worry about.
For that matter, why would a political party take the time, energy, and risk to devise an undercover vote hacking assault when you can disenfranchise an entire polling place with a shotgun and a map of the electrical grid? Some buckshot in a transformer ought to snarl things up real good, and be a much easier secret to keep than a multi-person hacking conspiracy. Paper ballots can be cast by candlelight if need be, and the average poll worker knows why they have to be physically protected.
Paper has soul. It's a connection to our history. Touchscreens just ain't got no Elvis in 'em. Maybe it's just an old fogey Luddite view, but holes in paper were good enough for Alan Turing to beat the Nazis, and I bet they're good enough for me to choose between these bozos.