Our Editorials

What Do YOU [still] Want? Eight+ Years and Not Counting.

In the summer of 2008 I was on a panel in Fairfield, CT. I opened with remarks on “What Do You Want”. I said voters want five things and what Connecticut could do about them in the short run (three steps over two years).  The two years  passed and little changed, so in 2010 I repeated the post as What Do YOU [still] Want?  Here we are in late 2016 and little has changed for the better:

Maryland My Maryland: The only problem is the $275,000 “audit” won’t work.

In 2007 the Maryland Legislature mandated a switch to optical scan paper ballots.  Just this year they have been implemented.  Unfortunately, instead of an audit of the paper they opted for an entirely electronic audit of electronic scanned records, at a cost of about double per citizen than that of Connecticut’s manual paper audit.

I assisted in writing and editing an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun and testimony before the Board of Elections.

The terms “feel good ‘audit'”, “sham ‘audit'” etc. come to mind.  We prefer to call it a “Back Box ‘Audit'” .

Common Sense: The Skeptics Guide to Election Integrity and Fraud

Two events in the last week or so prompt this post.  First, last Saturday I was at the Reason Rally at the Lincoln Memorial.  One speaker said “Be skeptical of everything”.  A later speaker  assured us, among other things, that two things I believe to be true were actually conspiracy theories.

Second, a recent series of posts by Richard Charmin,  essentially claiming that in many states the primary was stolen.

So, where do I come out?  I stand with Carl Sagan who said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” and the speaker at the Reason Rally who said to “be skeptical of everything”.  Here we have competing extraordinary claims:

  • By Richard Charmin:  That, in a large number of states the election results were manipulated in favor of a single candidate.
  • Implicitly by complacence: “Move on, nothing to see here, exit polls are always wrong in the U.S.  Don’t be concerned that every time someone brings this up, they are always wrong in favor of one candidate or party”

EDITORIAL: General Assembly heading the wrong way on post-election audits


UPDATE: The bill passed the House unanimously, including several who responded to your emails with promises they would not vote to cut the audits.

The Connecticut Senate has passed S.B. 252.  If the House passes and the Governor signs the bill it will be another national embarrassment for Connecticut, doing the wrong thing at precisely the worst time.

We have voter-verified paper ballots. To be valuable and provide confidence they must be used for strong, publicly verified, post-election audits. You can help. Tell your legislators that you want stronger audits, not weaker audits. Tell them to oppose S.B. 252. Then consider volunteering one day after each election and primary to observe with the Citizen Audit.

Editorial: We didn’t “Fix this” or was it Fixed? We all lose anyway.

After the long lines in some states in 2012, President Obama said “We Have To Fix That“. Four years and a Presidential Commission later, it seems, at least Arizona is going the wrong way.

The results, entirely predictable, were endless lines akin to those that await the release of new iPhones.

We say:

  • Any disenfranchisement, disenfranchises every voter in the United States.  Our vote and democracy is distorted by the disenfranchisement of others.  We could have a different President and different party in power next January based on a distorted result.
  • Even if there was no disenfranchisement, (unlikely from what we see at this point), our democracy suffers from the lack of credibility unless the issues are investigated and effectively fully resolved.

 

The Risky Way to Make an Important, Costly Decision

On March 11th,  Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, released an RFP along with a Press Release: Secretary of the State Aims to Revolutionize Voting Devices for Persons with Disabilities in Connecticut.

From what I can determine, this is a rushed, unsound plan.  It is likely to be wasteful, risks chaos in November, and unlikely to satisfy the needs of those with disabilities, taxpayers, or polling place officials.

The Iowa Caucus vs. a Primary

There are several differences between a caucus and a primary election.  These differences are glaring, especially in the case of the Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus.  Like all elections, the rules,  eligibility, and voting methods vary from state to state. In presidential primaries and caucuses they can vary from party to party.

Here is our list of important concerns with the Iowa Democratic Caucus. All things considered, democracy would be better served by a  primary than the Iowa Caucus.

Editorial: No Crisis in CT, unless we make one

For Connecticut this is a time for our legendary “Land of Stead Habits”. A real crisis would be a knee-jerk reaction to claims of a crisis. It would be the National reaction to 2000 and the Help America Vote Act all over again.

There will be a time to change deliberately, once better systems are available and proven.

Common Sense: Laws must be Sufficient, Enforceable, and Enforced

In one of his books, Gerry Weinberg pointed out that employee evaluations should be multiplicative not additive, that is, the various dimensions of performance and capabilities should be multiplied rather than added to determine the overall value of an employee.

There is an analogy with laws, including election laws.  Laws must be Sufficient, Enforceable, and Enforced. Missing one of the three, all value is lost.

Courant Editorial: Cheap Way To Boost Turnout

Today the Hartford Courant printed an editorial citing the Citizen Audit’s latest report:  Cheap Way To Boost Turnout

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