Our Editorials

Nov 2010 Election Audit Observation Report

Coalition calls again for legislature to act.
Citizen observation and analysis show little, if any, improvement in
November post-election audits.

The Coalition noted significant differences between results reported by optical scanners and the hand count of ballots by election officials across Connecticut. Compared to previous audits, the Coalition noted little, if any, improvement in the attention to detail and in following procedures in the November 2010 audits.

Coalition Report: Bridgeport Recount and Recommendations

Votes were miscounted and miscalculated adding votes to each candidate, but not changing winner in the race for governor

Each candidate for the governor’s race gained votes in the recount when compared to the officially reported results, as follows: Foley (+174), Malloy (+761), and Marsh (+19). These differences parallel candidate shares in the initially reported results. Counting of all ballots in the governor’s race resulted in differences in many counts, totaling 1,520 votes miscounted, of these 1,236 were initially under reported and 284 were initially over reported.

Simply printing more ballots only reduces the chance of the specific problem that occurred in Bridgeport. There are other causes that could result in a municipality having to scramble to photocopy ballots or perform hand counting such as a massive power failure or ballots lost in a fire, flood, or accident shortly before or during Election Day.

Courant Editorial: “State Must Review Ballot Blunders” – We agree and disagree

We note that there are two registrars in Bridgeport, elected to use their two eyes and two brains to represent opposing interests toward voting integrity and access. Today, would the Courant maintain or reconsider its past editorial position proposing a single registrar per town, not in the interest of integrity, but in the interest of saving money?

Editorial: Understand all the Symptoms, Explore the Options, Then Act

Editorials and legislators are already reacting and taking sides to solve the “ballot printing” problem.
It is critical to understand the entire scope of issues and inadequacies in all aspects of the election process; then review all the options, look for local best practices in Connecticut and explore what other states do well; then and only then develop a comprehensive cure. This is the common sense way to proceed, unfortunately it is hard work from start to implementation. Otherwise we are destined to react to one problem at a time, with one expensive, disruptive band-aid after another.

HAVA Scary Halloween: Ten years older and deeper in debt, yet far from credible elections

Two years ago we posted a Halloween preview:”eTRICK or reTREAT? Nightmare of Elections Future.” Lets look at where we are this year, and then we will calibrate (not celebrate) how far we have come.

The good news is that there are a slew of articles and reports in the mainstream media covering election integrity 10 years after the 2000 debacle. Just in time for the 2010 mid-term elections and just in time for Halloween. For adults wishing for that old-fashioned Halloween scare these articles should do the trick.

Common Sense: Paper Ballots are Insufficient for Voting Integrity

Reminder: Myth #9 – If there is ever a concern we can always count the paper.

A Tale In Three Ballots

Now that Connecticut voters are used to optical scan ballots, perhaps it is time to revisit ballot design in the “land of steady habits”. Perhaps one of those habits could be continuous improvement! We hear a lot about increasing participation in elections. Creating a better ballot can increase the number of voters willing to vote, and their satisfaction with the process.

Common Sense: The Indispensable Role Of Voter Verified Paper Ballots

Paper ballots filled out by voters are inherently “Voter Verified”. They provide the ultimate record of voters’ intent. They alone provide the opportunity for determining the exact result in close elections and the opportunity to verify the correct result in all elections. They alone provide the opportunity for public transparency necessary for real trust and confidence. Voter Verified Paper Ballots alone provide the opportunity for voting integrity, a necessary prerequisite for democracy.

Common Sense Election Integrity

One of the benefits of using optical scanners for voting is the requirement for voter marked paper ballots. They are much more reliable and useful than the paper records produced by some DRE (touch screen) voting machines. However, obtaining these benefits depends on the details surrounding the use of optical scanners and paper ballots. To provide true election integrity, Connecticut, like most states, needs to do much better in every dimension.

CTMirror Op-Ed: State recanvass law inadequate for close elections

The recent Hartford close vote, recanvass and election challenge provides an example to highlight the limitations of the Connecticut recanvass law. Read our op-ed published today in the CTMirror.

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