Skulduggery and Errors

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.

Top voting vendor, ES&S, admits lying to public and election officials for years

Article from Mother Board by Kim Zetter: Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States <read>

Wyden told Motherboard that installing remote-access software and modems on election equipment “is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.”

I would add that lying about ballot boxes being left on a Moscow street corner is equivalent to flat out lying about the software installed on your products. We should expect more from companies whose hands and integrity upon which our elections depend.

VoteAllegheny Analysis of Election Risks in One County

VoteAllegheny presents a report by Carnegie-Mellon researchers on the vulnerabilities in a single county in a swing state. The biggest takeaway for us is understanding that a top-down analysis of vulnerabilities can yield the most cost-effective areas to focus on preventing election fraud. Where we spend our resources can make a difference in the results!

The “Real” Lawyers Only Need Apply Rule

As this CTNewsJunkie post implies, it will always be called The Bysiewicz Test <read>

Ambiguously defined in law and only slightly less ambiguously by the Connecticut Supreme Court. All we know for sure is that you have to be a lawyer in CT for at least ten years and have different experience than Susan Bysiewicz had in 2010.  As I commented in on the article:

I always find it interesting that the AG and Judge of Probate are the only offices that have qualifications, as far as I know. They are both related to law. I wonder if the composition of the General Assembly makes the legislature realize how important qualifications are, in just these cases?

There remains no necessary training whatsoever to be Secretary of the State, while some of her employees, but not all, need to be lawyers to give advice to the public, would be candidates, and election officials. That could be going better, but of course, certification by itself does not preclude errors and incompetence, or as Jon Lender puts it Bungling

Do you have any examples of incorrectly decided elections, errors, and fraud etc.?

Last month as I prepared for the MLK Conversation, I wrote up a couple of Frequently Asked Questions, one asked about Conspiracy Theorists, which I addressed earlier, and then there was this one about actual evidence of incorrectly decided elections, error, and fraud.

Do you have any examples of incorrectly decided elections, errors, and fraud etc.?

In Connecticut there was a question incorrectly decided in New London. Because advocates closely reviewed election data it was obvious that officials counted 50 more voters than voters in one district’s absentee ballots(*).  They demanded a recount and the result was reversed.

The last I heard, the recently replaced municipal clerk in Stamford was under Federal investigation for Absentee Ballot errors. She was reported by the two Registrars…

Testimony on Well-Intended Bill That Would End Publicly Verifiable Elections

On Monday we testified against H.B.5173 An Act Protecting the Privacy of Voters

Note that this version of partially protecting some voters includes preventing open, transparent, and publicly verifiable elections by any and all voters, candidates, and parties.

Here is my testimony <read>. This is the summary:

The heart and soul of democracy is justified trust in elections. [This Bill]would be a death blow to the heart of public verifiability. [It] would preclude independent verification of the lists and electors recorded as voting; it would preclude officials from demonstrating to the public that our elections are on the up and up.

Like paper ballots, voter registration records need to be open, transparent, and publicly verifiable. (And recorded on paper.)

“Does your vote count?” Glastonbury MLK Conversation

Last Wednesday evening, I was one of five speakers and a moderator at a Community Conversation held by the Glastonbury Martin Luther King Community Initiative. There were about 60 to 75 in attendance. We addressed “Does your vote count? An examination of the Issues” I addressed issues in two areas: How could you know if your vote was counted? And what I would recommend to expand democracy in Connecticut, without risking election integrity. Here are my prepared remarks:

Supreme Court to Bridgeport: Those sort of things just aren’t done in CT

In a 3am decision, the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered a third primary in Bridgeport. CTPost: Supreme Court orders 3rd primary for Bridgeport

“Citizens can expect and are entitled to integrity in the process and a fundamentally fair and honest election, and this, I regret to say, they did not get,” the judge stated in overturning the results of the primary and ordering a new one.

Video: Atticus v. The Architect: The Political Assassination of Don Siegelman

I have followed this story off and on for years. As promised this film not only reviews the story but adds additional information. People ask me if any elections have been stolen. I say probably a few are and point to this as one that was. The cover-up is much much worse than the initial crime. The cover-up of the cover-up even worse. Yet, nothing happening once everything was pretty much in the open is worst of all. Like many documentaries, the first half or so is a little slow, yet you will be richly, disturbingly rewarded for watching till the end.

Virginia saga continues

Last time we editorialized that the Virginia race that came down to a single ballot and a drawing was noting to be alarmed at, nothing but a close vote.  Yet, there is a new twist,  with many voters in Virginia registered in incorrect districts.  In the district in question just a single voter incorrectly voting in the district or incorrectly excluded could have changed the result. Virginia: Thousands of Virginians may have voted in the wrong state House districts