Thursday, April 16, 2015

Opscan Forms Best of Both Worlds for Voting?

For years over a decade I have frequently heard about security concerns, and outright flaws, with various kinds of electronic voting machines. For the same decade, I have lived and voted in Washington County, MN, where they use "opscan" forms. That's shore for "optical-scan"--the same sort of bubble forms that are used for standardized tests.

I have always thought that opscan offers the best of both worlds. Fast, machine-based counting, but a very solid paper trail. Cheap, proven technology, too. And a big bonus, the machine isn't a real-time bottleneck.

After hearing an NPR story, today, I decided to take a few minutes to research it. Though my research is far from exhaustive, and may suffer slightly from unintentional "confirmation bias" in the search phrase formulation, the results seem to validate this. Here are a couple of links.