It baffles me why there is such a rush to electronic, touchscreen-based voting machines, when their security risks are so clearly documented. The fact is, the most reliable, secure, and user-friendly voting technology is a simple optical scanner system. It’s what I used to vote this morning in San Mateo: You get a paper ballot and a black marker. You use the marker to connect the head and tail of an arrow pointing to your choice, and when you’re done, you feed the ballot into a machine that scans it on the spot. The vote is unmistakable: A clear black mark on a paper ballot that can be counted by hand, if necessary. Tabulation is quick, since the scanner converts those black marks into digital counts that can easily be consolidated, precinct by precinct. And it’s easy for anyone to use.

By contrast, touchscreen systems historically have the second highest rate of spoiled ballots — after, you guessed it, punch card ballots.