Even hand-count isn't foolproof (2)
Yes, hand counting is not infallible. It's done in each polling place by only a handful of persons--in some cases, persons from a single party. Who ensures that they act wisely and honestly?
Greater reliability may require that we widen the circle of hand counters--to include all the voters in the precinct.
How can that be accomplished with reasonable thrift?
If the ballots can be reliably and legibly videotaped, the videos can be easily published on the Internet, and every voter in the precinct can double-check the vote count for himself/herself.
Any interested citizen should be allowed to do such videotaping and publishing. This would allow private citizens to check the government's vote count, and also to check the authenticity of each other's videos.
To expand hand-counting in this way should create no additional cost and effort for the government, beyond the need to provide an easel for ballots and to ensure that space is available for videotapers in each polling place.
And it will be much easier for pollwatchers to see whether videotaping is being properly allowed, than to see whether the ballots are being properly counted.
More-detailed considerations at http://e-grapevine.org/citizensaudit.htm