Does voter distrust spurs absentee voting?

An op ed in the The North County Times (Riverside, CA) claims that voters choose to vote absentee–or use a paper ballot at the polling place–because voters don’t trust electronic machines.

The writer’s view of public opinion is correct, although frustrating for many scholars and election officials. Survey results that I recently saw from Alvarez and Hall show that the public remains distrustful of electronic voting machines, even though all the evidence indicates that paper ballots are far more fraught with error.

Convincing the public of the reliability of electronic voting machines remains one of the main challenges for the election reform community. If public opinion is lost on this issue, expect to see an even faster movement toward absentee and other “reliable” paper systems.