Well. So I voted today, more than a bit apprehensive about those new Diebold touchscreen voting machines. I came away with most of my fears alleviated. My first surprise is how small the machines are...not a lot bigger than those flimsy little punchcard stands we used to use in Ohio. The second surprise was the ease of use. I don't think Steve Jobs had a hand in designing the GUI , but it was such that I think only, say, an elderly person with no computer experience could be intimidated by it...and it would probably take a really stupid person to get their ballot seriously screwed up. It's really a clear, clean interface. And would you believe I got through my entire ballot -- eight offices and 24 issues -- in a little more than five minutes? It helped that I'd already read up on everything on the ballot and knew exactly who I wanted to vote for, but that tells you how quickly one can scroll through the pages and cast one's vote. The third surprise was when I talked to a poll worker I know who was there. He explained the tallying methods to me (both electronic and paper), and allayed most of my concerns about the possibility of tampering. This poll worker is rabidly anti-Bush, so if it sounds okay to him, I've got to take his opinion into consideration. I can't say it sounds like a perfectly secure system, but OTOH it doesn't sound any worse than punch ballots and hanging chads. I'm not saying that I'm won over yet, or that I trust Diebold for that matter. But it was a decent experience.