Time to Hold ’em – Connecticut’s voting machines

San Francisco provides another reason for Connecticut to wait before considering new voting machines: San Francisco Examiner: San Francisco sets sights on open source voting by November 2019 <read>

“San Francisco could help write some U.S. democracy history with its leadership role,” said a Nov. 18 letter to the Elections Commission from Gregory Miller, co-founder of the Open Source Election Technology (OSET) Foundation, a collection of executives from top technology companies like Apple and Facebook. “And the total estimated cost to do so [$8 million] is a fraction of status-quo alternatives.

Essex students assist Secretary in random drawing

Yesterday we observed the random drawing of 68 districts and alternate districts for the post-election audit. Just as last time, it was an effective and educational event for all those present and participating. After each district was drawn they were marked on an map of the State. See the <press release> for more details and a list of the districts chosen.

CT Lottery Hacked. Claimed to be easy “unsophisticated” hack

Once again, we wonder which is safer Gambling or Voting?

Courant story:  Suspended Lottery Game Had Too Many Winners <read>

Just how some lottery agents were able to manipulate their machines is not clear, but
investigators believe there was a vulnerability between the time a ticket was ordered at a terminal when it was printed…

[Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan] Harris said he does not think those who manipulated the system were sophisticated hackers, but rather people who were able to figure out how the lottery terminals work.

We are not reassured.

Little comfort in ‘C’ grade for Connecticut for Integrity

Nor more comfort that the ‘C’ ranks us 3rd in the ‘Class’ of states.

New report from the Center for Public Integrity: How does your state rank for integrity? <read>
With the Connecticut details: Connecticut gets C- grade in 2015 State Integrity Investigation <read>

Let me start by applauding the Center for the report and Connecticut reporter Jennifer Frank for her contributions to the report. I will have some suggestions and criticisms of the report, yet having created a report on 169 Connecticut elections websites I know how challenging it is to set the criteria and perform uniform objective evaluations across several entities with multiple elevators.

No transparent recount; No public access to ballots; No confidence

Sadly, Dorothy We are still in Kansas Kentucky. Many are concerned with the accuracy and result of the election for Governor of Kentucky, many are not.

once again — on Election Day yesterday. We see, again, the nightmare scenario I’ve warned about for so many years: a U.S. election where all of the pre-election polls suggest Candidate X is set to win, but Candidate Y ends up winning by a huge margin instead and nobody even bothers to verify that the computer tabulated results accurately reflect the intent of the voters.

That’s exactly what happened in Kentucky on Tuesday, where Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway was leading by a fair margin (about 3 to 5 points) in almost every pre-election poll in his race for Governor, but then ended up being announced as the loser to ‘Tea Party’ Republican candidate Matt Bevin by a landslide (almost 9 points) — according to the state’s 100% unverified computer tabulation systems…

What would be good for Kansas and Kentucky would be good for Connecticut.   As just one example, recall the 2010 Citizen Audit of ballots in Bridgeport.

Because the City of Bridgeport gave the CT Post access to the ballots, we were able to recount them all and assure the state that the declared Governor was actually the choice of the voters.  If Bridgeport had not agreed, we would still be wondering and questioning the legitimacy of Governor Malloy.

Unfortunately, the official Connecticut system was not able to recount those votes, and has never recognized or counted the votes of some 1,500 citizens of Bridgeport.

It’s a Conspiracy Theory, until it is not a Theory – Voting Party Edition

Now from Seattle, this video of a “Ballot Box” with a “tamper resistant contraption“, in the hands of practically anyone: King County acknowledges using cardboard boxes to collect ballots

If you have voted Absentee, for the election tomorrow, we ask “Do you know where your ballot is, and where it has been?

As we have said: Making it harder to vote, not a good idea

New report: California: Ranked-choice voting linked to lower voter turnout <read>

The headline only articulates part of the problem:

The analysis revealed a significant relationship between RCV and decreased turnout among black and white voters, younger voters and voters who lacked a high school education… Studies have also found high rates of disqualified ballots due to voter errors. In addition, some minority groups were particularly disadvantaged by the RCV process

How Do We Know? Two cases tell the tale

Bradblog has an instructive post bringing home the limitations and possibilities of optical scan paper ballot elections: Caught on Tape: Election Officials Behaving Badly

How Do We Know?

It used to be “Do you know where your children are tonight?” Now we must ask “Do you know which laws and regulations were violated yesterday?”

Laws and regulations are insufficient to protect us from individual, organized, and corporate skulduggery. The reality is thoroughly articulated by Truth-Out: Capitalism and Its Regulation Delusion: Lessons From the Volkswagen Debacle

Editorial: No Crisis in CT, unless we make one

For Connecticut this is a time for our legendary “Land of Stead Habits”. A real crisis would be a knee-jerk reaction to claims of a crisis. It would be the National reaction to 2000 and the Help America Vote Act all over again.

There will be a time to change deliberately, once better systems are available and proven.

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