By Nancy Scola
The Huffington Post
With the world's attention understandably focused on the epic electoral battle between Obama and McCain, a development central to what will happen on November 4th has flown under the radar. Electronic voting machines that lack paper trails are, as NPR recently reported, being mothballed across the U.S.:
Officials in many states are concerned about the reliability of electronic voting and are now moving toward systems that can provide a voter-verified paper trail. Voting machines that are only a few years old are being sold for scrap or auctioned on eBay.
That's downright remarkable. It's not overstating it to say that, not long ago, paperless electronic voting was seen as the inevitable future of American elections. An often lonely opposition pushed back against that tide. At the forefront: blogging academics like Johns Hopkins's Avi Rubin and Princeton's Ed Felten and passionate activists Bev Harris of Black Box Voting and Brad of Brad Friedman of Brad Blog. Despite the political and financial clout of manufacturers like Diebold (now rebranded Premier Election Systems) and ES&S, they pressed on. From the sidelines, their campaign often seemed quixotic. But we're watching history bend their way.
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