Internet voting for overseas Americans starts test program this Friday

Electronic voting machines have gained a major foothold in the U.S. this election season (see exactly where on our exclusive map), but Internet voting has not. Starting this Friday, a pilot program will allow about 700 U.S. citizens to vote on PCs from afar, casting their electronic ballots on special hardened, Internet-connected laptops.

Internet voting was tried before in 2004, but it was such a security nightmare that the idea was scrapped before it even got off the ground. This time, after each electronic vote is transmitted, it will also be printed out, leaving a hard copy paper trail for recounts if problems arise. And where will these Internet votes be counted? Why, Florida, of course.

This all sounds very gee-whiz and modern, and might even save some effort for those overseas voters who must wade through a lot of bureaucracy just to vote in an election. But wouldn't it just be worth it to take the extra time and vote on good ol' paper ballots, just to be sure? Do computers and the Internet actually represent an improvement here? Commenters?

Via Popular Mechanics