The quest for reliable voting took a huge step forward last week with Kevin Shelley's announcement that all electronic voting machines in California would have to produce a voter-verifiable audit trail. But stiff opposition from election officials, who are calling his decision "a major defeat for the disabled community". I think voter-verified paper audit trails have a good chance of being deployed, though the fight may be long and messy.
On the other front, i just heard about a project to develop open source voting software that looks promising.
David Chaum has just released a design for a secure and verifiable voting system based on visual cryptography. At the poll station, the voting machine prints out a two-layered receipt for you. When the two layers are stuck together, you can read the candidates you voted for. Then you get to choose which layer you will take home with you, and the other layer is destroyed. The layer you take home cannot be used to sell your vote, because either layer alone is unreadable. But you can go online to find your vote, compare it against your receipt, and verify that your vote was counted.
In the most recent development to the Diebold case, a telephone conference has been scheduled on the morning of December 1 for Diebold and the EFF to discuss the case. Diebold has filed a statement declaring that it has "decided not to take the additional step of suing for copyright infringement" and "decided to withdraw its existing DMCA notifications and not to issue any further ones" for the posted Diebold e-mail archives. The Stanford Center for Internet and Society has a collection of the case documents online.