Many years ago our company was asked if we could develop electronic voting systems for elections (we do, in fact we invented electronic voting systems decades ago for conferences and audience interactions, so we basically were a logical choice). The customer intended to buy a complete electronic voting infrastructure for a whole country, so this was very tempting. I was tasked to research into this topic, and have examined this very thoroughly from every angle possible.
My conclusion: There is no, absolutely NO way to get the level of democratic voting quality from electronic ballot systems that is comparable to classic paper ballots. The risks are immense, the gain neglectable.
The electronic system is in no way verifyable by the average voter or voting administrator. Anybody can look into a ballot box before the vote starts and see that it is empty, people can watch over the whole thing to verify that everybody casts only one vote, and wittnesses and recounts can see that every vote from the box is counted for the right candidate. But nobody can do this in an electronic voting system. Yes, they can click on a button and the system tells them "0 votes in ballot box", but they cannot verify this. The voters cann press "A", and the machine tells you that your vote was cast for "A", thankyouverymuch, but internally it could just drop the vote or count it for "B" or "C". Nobody could check this. At the end, the machine would display some numbers for A, B, and C, and you have to believe them.
And this is just the logic part of the problem. On top of that there is the question of technical reliability and user errors. There have been voting systems with touchscreens that needed to be calibrated before use, and there have been several cases where mis-calibration led to votes being cast for the wrong candidate/party (just as an example, whoever knows a technical system will know thousand ways it could fail). How does the system cope with a power loss during voting? Has the vote you just cast been counted or not? And what about the ease of vote? You and I can cope with "press candidate button, verify choice, press submit button", but an astonishing number of people can not (anyone who ever did tech support will not be that surprised).
All the key requirements to a democratic vote cannot be established simultaneously with an electronic voting system: Verifyability, integrity, secrecy. Yes, you can do a lot in the realm of integrity (like they do in Vegas for the one-armed bandits), but the stakes are way higher and so is the temptation to fix the game in a way that will go undetected even by the toughest inspection (and you cannout tough-inspect every electronic ballot box after every election!). And if you want a really reliable system, you will loose the secrecy factor. If you want secrecy, the verifyability and integrity will go down the drain. It is in fact worse than the business classic "Iron Triangle" (Fast, Good, Cheap, pick any two), it is more or less a "pick one". And for a true democratic vote, you will need all three.
The only advantages that an electronic ballot system can give are the results seconds after the closing of the ballot station and no problematic votes where people have to decide whether a vote is valid or not. Thats why the politicians LOVE electronic voting - it gives them nice results in time for the evening news. But do you really want to sell away the integrity of the last democratic instrument left for the citizens for saving a few man-hours in each ballot station? And I'd rather wait for the morning paper with the final results from a paper-based, democratically obtained election result than seeing grinning polititians congratulating themselves in the evening news, claiming their win from a quite doubtful, error- and manipulation-prone process.
In the end, I had a long and intense talk with our company founder and CEO and could convince him that electronic voting is a bad idea for democracy, and he communicated this very result to the customer. And as the customers intention was to have a democratially sound election system, he agreed.