Salon picked up the voting machine story this week, which is a good sign. The next thing you know, it will actually be reported in the major media. If nothing else, what should come out of this story is that all voting machines should produce a physical record of each vote. The idea that electronic voting machines would only tabulate votes electronically is absolutely amazing to me, because there are just too many ways to game the system and if there’s no physical record, then it’s impossible to go back and audit the results. Honestly, I think that each vote should be assigned an ID, and that two physical copies should be produced, one of which can be taken home by the voter if they choose to do so. But at minimum, they physical vote that is produced should be in a human readable format that can be checked by the voter before they leave the booth and put the vote into a ballot box. Computerized touch screen voting is a good idea, you can create much simpler user interfaces that way, but they’re worthless without a physical audit trail. Oh, and it goes without saying that we ought to be checking into the conflict of interest issues raised in this story as well.