June 2014

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An afternoon at the Recount(?)

On June 24th there was a third budget referendum in Colchester, CT. There were separate questions for the town budget and the Board of Education budget, both previously twice voted down. This time the town budget passed by a margin of twelve votes and the BOE squeaked by with a margin of four votes.

This was actually the first time I have attended a recount in Connecticut. In the past I have attended about eight recanvasses. Every time, I have attended a recanvass, either as a member of the public or representing a party or slate, I have learned something. Most often a few good ideas, and new ways not to run a recanvass. This was an exception, I only learned good things. It was a thoroughly effective recount in all regards, and educational for me.

What price convenience? Another confirmation that the Holy Grail of voting is not found in conventional wisdom

When you vote in November, consider: What price convenience? What cost convenience? What individual effort is Democracy worth?

To listen to elected officials and many activists, the Holy Grail of Elections, would seem to be Turnout. Given the emphasis you would think that almost nothing else matters: Integrity, candidate access, campaign finance, media bias, or costs – when focusing on turnout, it seems everything else is forgotten. A report from Ohio, confirms earlier studies that early voting does not increase turnout,

The dirty secret(s) of vote counting

In college I followed our nationally ranked hockey team. With ringside seats at an ECAC semi-final game, we struck up a conversation with a referee, who frequently stood just in front of us on the ice. For a long while it was a tie, and we learned from him that refs do no like tie games, with the pressure on every call in a sudden death overtime. Elections can get rougher than hockey, there are more and tougher calls in close contests – calls that can easily expose the little know vulnerabilities of our election system and the flaws in the promise to “count every vote”.

Some of those vulnerabilities are covered in an op-ed in the Sacramento Bee. All that, more and less, could happen in Connecticut.

“It happens all the time.” All over the place (Part 3)

Here we continue our review of are some of our posts of past errors surfaced in Connecticut and around the country, selected from our over 900 posts, covering 2009.

“It happens all the time.” All over the place (Part 2)

Here we continue our review of are some of our posts of past errors surfaced in Connecticut and around the country, selected from our over 900 posts. Last time we covered the 1st year of CTVotersCount. 2007-2008. Continuing from there:

It seems the 2nd half of 2008 was a good year for uncovering problems, not so good for credibility.

Worse than Hurricane Sandy? As bad as climate denial?

A new ZD-Net Editorial: Internet voting: A really bad idea whose time has come

Summary: Believe it or not, most states have some provisions for allowing people to vote over the Internet. The pressure is on to expand it, even though a secure online voting system is impossible using today’s technology.

Climate denial might end human life or at least life as we know it. Internet voting denial can only wipe out our democracy.