Merrill: “likely to increase audits”

Merrill said her office will likely also increase its audits. Currently it randomly selects voting precincts to have primary results audited following elections; five percent of polling places that use optical scan machines are subject to the audit, as prescribed by Connecticut General Statutes 9-320f. Those counts are then matched against vote totals from optical scan machines.

 

Philosopher: Some Conspiracy Theories are all too real

Yesterday’s conspiracy theories often become today’s incontrovertible facts…

[Conspiracy Theory is] a function similar to that served by the term “heresy” in medieval Europe…One bad effect of these terms is they contribute to a political environment in which it’s easier for conspiracy to thrive at the expense of openness. Another bad effect is their use is an injustice to the people who are characterised as conspiracy theorists…

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the Myth of “Secure” Blockchain Voting

From David Jefferson at Verified Voting: Verified Voting Blog: The Myth of “Secure” Blockchain Voting <read>

Internet voting has been studied by computer security researchers for over twenty years. Cyber security experts universally agree that no technology, including blockchains, can adequately secure an online public election. Elections have unique security and privacy requirements fundamentally different from and much more stringent than those in other applications, such as e-commerce. They are uniquely vulnerable because anyone on Earth can attack them, and a successful cyberattack might go completely undetected, resulting in the wrong people elected with no evidence that anything was amiss….

Election security is a matter of national security. Blockchains, despite all the hype surrounding them, offer no defense against any of these well-known threats to which all online elections are vulnerable.

Deputy Scott Bates Selects 36 Districts for Audit

On Thursday Deputy Secretary of the State Scott Bates selected 36 districts for the post-primary audit.<press release with selected districts>

Departing from past practice, the Official Audit Procedures, and the law as it has always been interpreted, the Deputy selected three statewide races from each party to be audited in their respective primaries and then selected only one party primary to be audited in each district. The Official Audit Procedures, and the law indicate that 5% of the districts in each primary be audited with a minimum of 20% of the races randomly selected by the municipal clerk from all races on each ballot.

Israeli Firm Proves Our Point: Fax is as risky as Online Voting

As we have been saying for years, Online/Internet voting risks include email and fax voting.
<Since 2008>

Story today in the Washington Post:
Report: Hackers Target Fax Machines
Phone Line Connected To Computer Network Can Offer Access

What we don’t understand seems all but impossible and fictional

Like you I don’t know a lot about brain surgery, flying a jet, or hacking a cell-phone. Off-hand I often think of all of those somewhere on a spectrum from taking years to learn, to almost impossible, fictional or magical.  Yet the evidence is different. People learn brain surgery, perform it regularly and well. Just this week we saw a mechanic take-off and fly a jumbo jet, apparently with only some video game experience. Which brings me to my newest proverb:

What we don’t understand seems all but impossible and fictional.

But that is not true. Case in point, DEFCON.

WARNING:

THE ONLY WAY TO BE SURE YOUR VOTE WON’T COUNT – IS TO NOT VOTE.

Vote tomorrow. Your vote is very likely to make a difference!

Three days at the Fairfax Risk Limiting Audit Prototype

Last Wednesday through Friday I attended and observed the City of Fairfax, VA Risk Limiting Audit Prototype.  I was most impressed by the level of participation and cooperation of the State, County, and Local Officials. Was it partially because they are all appointed? I can’t be sure.

Here is a news story that explains it at a very high level. No doubt other reports and the official City of Fairfax report will go into more depth: First new Va. election results audit held in Fairfax city <read>

Any doubt I was there? Check out the photo of the group watching a presentation. I am last row, last on the right.

Georgia: New information enhance title as a Most Vulnerable State

article from McClatchy: Georgia election officials knew system had ‘critical vulnerabilities’ before 2016 vote

Georgia election officials got a friendly warning in August 2016 that their electronic voting system could be easily breached.

But less than a month before the November election, a state cybersecurity official fretted that “critical vulnerabilities” persisted, internal emails show.

The emails, obtained through a voting security group’s open records request, offer a glimpse into a Georgia election security team that appeared to be outmatched even as evidence grew that Russian operatives were seeking to penetrate state and county election systems across the country…

The disclosures add to alarms about the security of Georgia’s elections — not only in 2016, but also heading into this fall’s midterm elections.

The most vulnerable state: Georgia

Electronic election suspicions in Georgia have been there since the dawn of century. Now with Secretary of State Brian Kemp running for Governor, a New Yorker article reviews the recent history of ongoing vulnerability, lack of investigation by the state, and cover-up.

Our Editorial

Has our democracy been stolen in Georgia? Will it continue to be stolen? This is not just a problem for Georgia voters. The Senators and Representatives from each state change the balance in Washington, the Electoral College votes from Georgia count toward who is our President, especially in close elections like 2000, 2004 and 2016. The fully justified suspicion alone undermines confidence in Democracy.

Instead of papering over suspicions, Georgia should be moving to paper ballots and sufficient post-election audits.

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