Re: Old fashioned
Sounds like you've never worked an election. I've worked about 30.
1) Election judges are appointed by the county chairmen of the leading party in the district. The alternate is appointed by the other party.
2) A month before the election, the election judges receive their orders to conduct an election in their precincts. Those that cannot are replaced by alternates.
3) Two days before the election, the certified judges pick up their election materials. (Yes, government-issued ids are required.) Many of the judges are known to the county election officials. Ballots are numbered. Ballot boxes are sealed with numbered seals. A list of registered voters in the precinct is provided.
4) The day before the elections, issues with unclaimed materials are resolved.
5) The day of the elections, the judges set up the voting booths. The alternates usually arrive at about the same time. If for some reason, the building is locked, we have set up under trees. (Yes, Texas is not England--rains are not as big of a problem.)
6) Voter proof of ID is a heavily contested issue. One party argues that proof of ID is required to prevent fraud. The other argues that requiring ID suppresses turnout. Having worked these elections, I will testify that fraud is a real concern.
7) Voters sign against their name in the registry and select a ballot. After they vote the ballot, they put it in the box. Spoiled ballots are stored separately (and the voter can choose a replacement ballot.)
8) Parties and candidates can certify and send election observers to any and all precincts. Observer behavior is tightly constrained.
9) If there is a concern with an individual voter, they vote a provisional ballot. In this case, the voter loses their anonymity. Based on my experience, I would guess that the challenge rate is less than 1/1000. Most challenges involve problems with the voter registration process. As mentioned, they are ignored unless the vote is close. In that case, a regular judge handles all of the issues relating to resolving the election.
10) When the elections close, the judges close out the site. They keep a copy of ALL of the elections materials (except the ballots).
So yes, the integrity of the elections judges is a big deal. The integrity of the county elections office is a bigger deal. But the judges and the office balance each other. With paper ballots, it is impossible for an outside agent to corrupt the process wholesale.
Not so with electronic voting of any form.