We've had so many different stories about problems with e-voting machines and optical scan ballot counting machines, that it's at least worth acknowledging when those machines appear to have actually done their job reasonably well (though, not perfectly). Andrew Appel notes that the hand recount done in Minnesota for the Senatorial election there gave us a chance to look at how well some optical scan machines did, and he suggests they did extremely well
, with a net accuracy at 99.99% and a gross accuracy of 99.91%. Of course... both of those numbers mean that the number of ballots incorrectly recorded could have swung the election in one way or another, given the minuscule margin between the two candidates.
Either way, the fact that the machines can
be somewhat accurate is hardly up for debate. The issue is about whether or not we know
they are accurate, and have mechanisms to easily go back and verify that they're accurate and secure. And, it's on those two issues that e-voting companies are way behind in fulfilling.