February 2014

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Testimony: National Popular Vote

Yesterday was the annual public hearing on the National Popular Vote Compact. Yet it was different, the most thorough and thoughtful hearing I have seen in ten years of testifying and observing the Government Elections and Administration Committee. Unfortunately, it was not televised – you really needed to be there.

3rd Harford Elected Registrar maybe eliminated by Council

So may the 1st and 2nd Elected Registrars

The Courant has long been opposed to a third and even a second Registrar in Hartford. The Editorial Board would rather see the Council appoint registrars, as authorized in a Charter Revision last year. As we explained at that time, contrary to claims by the Courant, the proposal could result in an untrained, unqualified, politically appointed registrar or registrars.

Now we learn that the Courant and supporters now believe they got something else wrong in explaining the Charter Revision to the public.

Citizen Study Finds State Audit Flawed From the Start

Crosspost: Coalition Districts in the Random Drawing Study, Nov 2013

Citizen Study Finds State Audit Flawed From the Start

Post-Election Audit Flawed from the Start by Inaccurate List of Election Districts

Based on concerns with the integrity of the random drawing in previous elections, the Coalition initiated a project to thoroughly check the integrity of the list of districts in the drawing for the November 2013 election.

Coalition spokesperson Luther Weeks noted, “The credibility of our elections depends on the integrity of the Post-Election Audits. The integrity of the audits in-turn depends on the integrity of the drawing.”

The report found,

  • Fewer discrepancies in the random drawing list than were found in November 2012 and efforts by the Secretary of the State’s Office to improve the accuracy of the list.
  • Seventeen (17) voting districts missing from the drawing list or recanvass list. The selection of two (2) fewer districts for audit than required by law.
  • The audit law calling for the random selection and auditing of 10% of voting districts is not being faithfully executed, leaving the integrity and credibility of the audit and our election system open to question and expose it to the potential of future manipulation.
  • The law intended to fix past problems is not being followed. — A failure rate of 67
  • Fully complying with the law is complicated by the loose definition of voting district in the law.

<Full Report (.pdf)> <Press Release> <Backup Data>

Legally Questionable Solution Proposed for Bickering Registrars

The the West Hartford registrars do not get along, resulting in trading complaints, long lines at polls, and an inability to solve that without intervention by the Secretary of the State. The latest is an attempt by the town to fix the problem, despite the fact that the registrars are publicly elected officials charged with running the elections. In our opinion, best that the Town Council members can do is to work with their Town Committees to find candidates who, if elected would work together, or to find satisfactory candidates to win in primaries.

Time to ignore Voter Id, Voting Rights Act, and other attempts to game the system.

Yesterday, the Government Elections and Administration Committee voted to take up the National Popular Vote Agreement/Compact. Today we have a CTMirror story on the efforts of highly funded national lobbyists working with Democrats and Republicans to tout the bill. Reading the article, one would get the impression that only Republicans are against the bill

In the last year, not much has changed. Except that the risks should be more obvious given the activity in some states to suppress votes, especially after the Supreme Court effectively ended the Voting Rights Act.

Experts demonstrate how to hack email voting

Security researchers say they have developed an interesting trick to take over Gmail and Outlook.com email accounts – by shooting down victims’ logout requests even over a supposedly encrypted connection.
And their classic man-in-the-middle attack could be used to compromise electronic ballot boxes to rig elections, we’re told.

Early Voting, the good, the not-so-good, and the ugly

For Connecticut, we favor in-person early voting, if we are willing to pay for the convenience. We oppose no-excuse absentee voting for security reasons.