Every blog in the world seems to be pointing today to this article by Avi Rubin, well-known critic of e-voting from Johns Hopkins University. So will I, but maybe I can focus on something a little different:
I became the target of much criticism from Maryland and Georgia election officials who were deeply committed to these machines, and of course, of the vendor. The biggest criticism that I received was that I am an academic scientist and that academics do not "know siccum" about elections, as Doug Lewis from the Election Center put very eloquently.
While I dispute many of the claims that computer scientists working on e-voting security analysis are deficient in their knowledge of elections, I realized that there was only one way to stifle this criticism... I volunteered to become an election judge in Baltimore County....
I started realizing that some of the attacks described in our initial paper were actually quite unrealistic, at least in a precinct with judges who worked as hard as ours did and who were as vigilant. At the same time, I found that I had underestimated some of the threats before. I think that being an election judge was the best thing I could have possibly done to learn about the real security of elections.
There really is something about living in the practical real world that can't be gotten in academia.