I’ve been meaning to write a small post taking the Deseret News to task for their biased and uninformed editorial on electronic voting. I didn’t get to it as quickly as I’d have liked—the voucher issue (in addition to a rather hectic work schedule) has kept me a bit busy. Today, Phil Windley commented on it, with a better argument and bit more moral authority than I could have provided.
If nothing else, the editorial was good for a laugh. 
Right now, some people are worried there are gremlins in the current voting machines — that electronic voting is unreliable and open to tampering. They spout anecdotal evidence of irregularities here and there to fuel their fear and want paper ballot backups to fend off any conspirators. It’s the same kind of itchy-witchy thinking that leads people to hide bags of money under their mattresses.
And dare we say that almost all of those those skittish souls are likely older than 40? The younger generation sees the outcry for the tangible comfort of paper ballots as a hallmark of the fuddy-duddy. The notion sounds, to young ears, like people demanding election results be chiseled into granite for security.
Utahns do not have the time, money or obligation to create a “security blanket” of paper ballots for Luddites to wrap around themselves in the night. The electronic voting era is upon us. Our state leaders have done a superb job of getting the new system up and running and trouble-shooting glitches as they have surfaced.
Deseret News, “Vote ‘no’ on paper ballots”
Referenced 29 May 2007, 20:44 (MDT)
That’s the first time I’ve heard the Slashdot crowd—probably the most broadly technical online community around—called Luddites. The prevailing feeling there is that paper backups are absolutely essential. It’s not because they’re scared of technology. It’s because they’re intimately familiar with it. Besides, I suspect more than a handful could crack the voting machines if they chose.