The touch screens we use here are cool, but what is the point? There is no real audit trail and there is no way in hell to really know who or what your vote was counted for. Most of the rush to automated voting has been media driven. There is no requirement for elections to be decided by the morning news, and it is too important to leave something like this to us geeks, and yes I do consider myself one from WAY back. I am holding a copy of Running Wild: The Next Industrial Revolution by a Mr. Adam Osborne. If you don't know who he is look him up. He was one of the founding fathers of microcomputers. In his this book Chapter 7 is titled Powerful Tools or Powerful Weapons . The second sentence in the second paragraph says this, "Nevertheless, computers should be excluded by legislation from three important applications: the tabulation of election results, the transfer of large sums of money between banks, and the central operations of stock exchanges."
Too late for number two and three, but number one is probably the most important anyway and is by far the most difficult to audit in case of chicanery. WHY do we need computers to vote? What is the rush in getting the totals? My guess is that having real time or near real time election returns is driven mostly by the media and has been from the beginning. Newspapers wanted the scoop (remember Truman vs Dewey?) and the 24 hour cable news channels live for election night so they can "CALL" the election before the polls close.
Call me a Luddite if you wish but the more people actually involved in the voting process, and especially the counting of votes, the less chance there is that one or a few people can put their thumb on the scale. My vote is to go back to PAPER ballots counted by people from EACH party or person in the election in an open counting room with live coverage. It might take a few days to know who won, but it isn't a ball game, it is an election and knowing who won or lost in record time is not the point. The point is that the vote MUST be honest and counted HONESTLY.