Alex Tabarrok makes a faulty analogy on electronic voting:
I have never once checked a gas receipt against my monthly credit card bill and I suspect most people don’t either.
I work for a payroll company, and the core of our business is a computerized payroll system. But we also keep a good deal of paper files; and I can assure you that any audits or disputes are going to pull in that paper file for comparison.
It’s true that most consumers (myself included) don’t keep high accounting standards in managing our personal finances. But if anyone were to run a public company–let alone an election–the way that most of us run our finances, the executives would soon end up in jail. (Or at least at the wrong end of an SEC investigation.)
So I agree with Tabarrok that there’s no need to be paranoid about computerized voting, especially if the software is open source. But that doesn’t eliminate the need for an audit trail.
Update: Boy am I red-faced! Apologies to Alex for misspelling his name.