Paper Trail Chase

One way to increase the accuracy and transparency of direct recording electronic voting machines may be to require a voter verifiable paper trail.
Wired News reports on a new survey which finds that voters want their electronic voting machines to serve paper trails, while earlier surveys found that most voters were unconcerned about the reliability of e-voting: Poll: Voters Want Paper Trail
Perhaps voters have become more informed about the risks of direct ecording e-voting machines. Perhaps this merely reflects the fact that this latest survey was commissioned by Accupoll, a company that sells electronic voting machines which happen to produce a paper trail. It seems like most voters may remain unconcerned about the accuracy or security and reliability, but all things equal, would prefer machines which produce a paper trail.
Voting rights activists are less sanguine about the accuracy and reliability of “black box” e-voting machines which lack paper trail or any kind of external audit mechanism. In Maryland, the Campaign for Verifiable Voting is seeking a court order which will require the state’s e-voting machines, of Diebold manufacture, to print a paper audit trail. The Washington Post reports: Md. Machines Seek Vote of Confidence:

Plaintiffs, led by Linda Schade, a Takoma Park activist who helped found a group called, promise to produce testimony from computer experts and election officials about security vulnerabilities and other shortcomings in machines the state has paid more than $55 million to purchase.

The Maryland lawsuit seeks “to insure the integrity of the November 2004 elections.” The Campaign for Verifiable Voting has the complaint and other filings available on its web site.