Costs

What is wrong with CT’s Election Day Registration

Late last month, we testified on  a bill, S.B. 250 that would modify Connecticut’s Election Day Registration (EDR) law. We did not testify for or against the proposed change, clearly aimed at making life easier for registrars and election day workers* at the expense of convenience to the public.  Yet there are larger problems with Connecticut’s EDR law and procedures implemented by the Secretary of the State. Here are several of those problems:

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.

The Power of Partnership: Do you know what your election officials have been watching?


Direct from the Dominion web, a marketing video featuring Denver election officials.services from Dominion.

We recommend caution for election officials, along with concern and skepticism for voters and taxpayers.

Two days at the Voting and Elections Summit

Three simple ideas standout among the many things I learned and relearned:

  1. When we are concerned about every cost associated with voting, small and large, compare those costs to what we spend “spreading democracy” elsewhere.
  2. Contemplate what people spend in time and expense for the excitement of the Superbowl. Why are we not similarly engaged in Election Day, where the who wins is much more significant to our lives?
  3. Should we be at least as concerned with protecting and auditing paper ballots, as we are with the footballs used in the semi-finals?

Speed Up Election Results – Not so fast, with another half-baked solution

UPDATED, With two additional views. And a CORRECTION.
We half agree with the Courant and the Secretary of the State. We have supported the idea, applauded the start that the Secretary took, yet there are problems with the system as proposed, and even more problems with the some of the views and ideas in the Courant’s Editorial. Yet, one half-baked manual system does not deserve a half-baked automated one to solve the problems.

We would like to see the Secretary and the Courant Editorial Board close a polling place and get the data in via smart phone, or close absentee ballots and report via laptop. We will help time them and transparently provide the video on YouTube.

We also remind readers that the Courant is one of the newspapers that led the fight to require expensive paper legal notices instead of allowing for web based notices.

Well intended misstep on Connecticut’s horizon?

The Hartford Courant editorial board celebrates a step towards a mistake for which they have long advocated

There is always an easy solution to every human problem–neat,
plausible, and wrong.- H.L. Mencken

Testimony on two bills – Disclosure and Early Voting

Almost all the legislators from both parties made “political hay” (that is intended as a cliche like “fox in the hen house”) out of former and future candidate for Governor, Tom Foley’s testimony on legislative ethics. He admitted authorship of questionable concepts not worded to match his intent. I can only wonder what would happen if all bills were required to identify the author? Would I have tempered my remarks on early voting, had everyone known the source of that inadequate and contradictory text? Would the result be less bills with better text?

Conflict of interest generates knee-jerk call for election reform

As we have said before in several ways, modernization and solving election problems in Connecticut will be almost impossible to achieve within the existing system of 338+ local registrars, many of whom are very very part time. 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.

Enthusiastic support for the Secretary’s Performance Task Force Recommendations

Given the many members, the brief meetings, and the lack of representation of all interests, we were skeptical when the Task Force was convened. To our delight, we find that we can offer endorsement of each of the twenty-one recommendations in the report.

There is a lot to do in all the recommendations. It will take time, money, and deliberate work with everyone at the table. Our hope is that each of the recommendations will be thoroughly explored, evaluated, and acted upon, that none get overlooked.

Elections Performance Task Force: Technology Fair and Doug Chapin

You can have little to no impact on your turn-out bottom line with election laws. Turnout tends to be driven by what’s on the ballot rather than when, where, or how it is available. – Doug Chapin

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