While some say that it's impossible to have a secure and accurate election using e-voting machines, having some sort of paper trail backup certainly goes a long way towards relieving the biggest fears associated with e-voting machines. While we don't yet have them in the US, Venezuela's national election this coming weekend will have a verifiable paper trail associated with each voting machine. After a person votes, the machine will spit out a receipt for the voter to review. They will then put the receipt into a box so that it can be counted (and also to avoid "vote buying" where the voter can prove he or she voted for a specific candidate). Not only that, but election officials are going to count millions of the votes and compare them with the e-vote totals to make sure they're accurate. They're not only going to take a small, self-selected sample, or only in specific cases where misuse is suspected. Apparently, they're going to audit over half of the machines by checking the paper ballots. That's pretty impressive and makes it that much harder to question the results of the election. Update: Some great comments left by people in Venezuela who point out why many are still uncomfortable with the e-voting machines and still expect fraud.
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