E-voting vendors expect a smooth election as well, said David Beirne, executive director of the Election Technology Council, a trade group. The council "will be monitoring activities for the misreporting of facts, and we will engage in rumor control should it become necessary," he said. "Other than that, the stage is set for the local election officials, and the leading voting system providers will take a supporting role to see that the election runs as smoothly as possible. The vast majority of our local election officials have been through elections with this equipment before ... and have trained their pollworkers extensively."
In addition to Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida, there are several other states to watch on Tuesday. Ohio and Florida continue to be toss-up states in the presidential election, although recent polls have Virginia and Pennsylvania, once toss-up states, leaning toward Obama over Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
-- New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, South Carolina, Georgia, and Louisiana all use touch-screen voting machines exclusively, without paper-trail backups that voters can see. However, Louisiana has paper printouts that election officials can use to check the accuracy of e-voting machines, said Jacques Berry, press secretary for the Louisiana Secretary of State.
A report , issued by Verified Voting and two other organizations in mid-October, called Louisiana one of the least-prepared states for potential voting problems. The report was "utter, utter bull," Berry said. "I will put our election system against any other in the country for security."
None of those states is likely to have close votes for U.S. president, but there could be close congressional races in those states.
-- In addition to Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida, four other states that use a combination of optical scan and touch-screen machines do not require paper backups for the touch-screens. Those states are Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Indiana is a toss-up state in the race for president.
-- Four more states, Colorado, Kansas, Arkansas, and Mississippi, use a combination of touch-screen machines and other voting methods. In some jurisdictions, the touch-screen machines have a paper trail, and in other jurisdictions, they don't.