Registrars trade complaints, official and unofficial

Is it voter suppression? Laziness? or Trumped up conflict? In any case, it does not serve voters and democracy.

It is hard to argue for the current system when these conflicts breakout, even harder to argue for the election of a single partisan registrar in each municipality.

Issues with NPV vs. a strategy of overwhelm

Around this time in the presidential election cycle we see a variety of articles touting benefits of the National Popular Vote Agreement vs. the Electoral College for determining the president. One of the latest is a piece in the Stamford Patch pointing to Rep Fox’s support of the Agreement, largely quoting Ryan O’Donnell, a lobbyist for NationalPopularVote.org.

I suggest you read the Patch article along with the comments to get a taste of NPV.org’s arguments, relevant, irrelevant, and questionable and their apparent strategy of overwhelm. Often when one of these articles appears, I post a comment to articulate what they are not telling you, the risk of the National Popular Vote Agreement. Much like DDT the issue is not the touted benefits, even if overblown. The issue is the potential harmful consequences.

USA Today: Electronic voting – The Real Threat

Fortunately our Legislature has not wasted time on raising Connecticut’s adequate voter I.D. law to the level of voter suppression. Unfortunately, the Legislature has continued to ignore science, experience, and the Constitutional requirement for preserving the secret vote.

Candiate qualifies to run on three lines for registrar – Case made for third registrar in Hartford

Connecticut has 169 towns with a Democratic and a Republican registrar. If anyone else runs and comes in 1st or 2nd then there are three (or even four registrars). Currently Hartford has three registrars. For several years we have been articulating the reasons this makes sense, how it can be done without additional cost, and the potential cure of “Doing for Elections what we have done for Probate”.

Two recent news items are relevant. A defense of three registrars in Hartford by Ed Vargas. And candidate Doug Lary running on three 3rd party lines for registrar Windham/Willimantic.

Supreme Court to decide ballot layout and sovereign immunity

I am not a lawyer, however: The law reads like the Secretary of the State is correct in interpreting the law. But it will be a tough precedent if the court accepts the sovereign immunity argument – I would think that would make it harder to sue over any election issue, including when the Secretary has declared an election winner. UPDATED

We still disagree with the Courant on reforming the office of registrar

The comprehensive solution is to “Do for Elections what we have done for Probate“. Consolidation, Professionalization, and Regionalization. Not a panacea, but in our opinion a prerequisite. And change it in the Legislature by following the requirements of State law.

UConn Memory Card Report: More garbage in, some good information out

Once again, we applaud Dr. Alexander Shvartsman and his team for developing the technology to perform these innovative tests, the diligence to perform the tedious tests, and the fortitude to report the facts. Compliance by officials leaves much to be desired:

Prior to the primary 110 out of 598 districts sent cards, that is 18.5% compliance
After the primary 105 out of 598 districts sent cards, that is 17.6% compliance,
however, only 49 of those cards were used in the election, a compliance rate of 8.2%

53 districts in 49 municipalities selected for post-election audit

Yesterday with assistance from Coalition volunteers, Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill conducted the random selection of districts for the post-election audit.

Particularly striking is the rapid consolidation and dramatic drop in the number of polling places over time:

Courant stands for election integrity ( with Windsor/Hartford log of events)

Such questions must be answered so that all voters can have faith in the integrity of the system.

We would add to the Courant’s concern in this obvious and difficult situation, that part of the cure is more attention to detail ahead of time and in every election, this close or not. Learning from experience and reducing the odds of lingering questions.

Secretary’s Office and registrars test new election reporting system

From what we can tell, the system may well meet the needs for better reporting that would dramatically move us forward in the PEW criteria, and more importantly, toward higher accuracy and higher election integrity. Yet, the devil is often in the details. After implementation for election night, the system should also be extended to report the results of recanvasses and post-election audits.

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