[Updated 9-Dec-2006: The recommendations discussed below were later rejected by NIST. See the discussion of this insanity on /...]
A technical group sponsored by NIST, the US government's standard setting organization, has issued a draft report condemning the use of electronic voting. The NIST report calls for paper trails and builds on an earlier paper by Ron Rivest (of RSA fame) and John Wack which defined the concept of "Software Independence" in voting systems: The idea that voting systems should allow election officials to recount ballots independently of voting machine' software. The Washington Post correctly points out that this report "repeats the contention of the computer security community that "a single programmer could 'rig' a major election."
The report states:
... the lack of an independent audit capability in DRE [Direct Recording Electronic] voting systems is one of the main reasons behind continued questions about voting system security and diminished public confidence in elections. NIST does not know how to write testable requirements to make DREs secure, and NIST’s recommendation to the STS [Security and Transparency Subcommittee] is that the DRE in practical terms cannot be made secure. Consequently, NIST and the STS recommend that VVSG 2007 should require voting systems to be of the SI [Software Independent] “class”...