CT Skulduggery and Errors

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…

“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.

Registrars mess up, City (taxpayers) pay fines, eventually

“Justice delayed is justice denied.” What could be worse?  Perhaps “Justice delayed and fines transferred to the victims.”

In 2014 the Registrars in Hartford failed to provide check-off lists to polling places in time for voting to begin at 6:00am.   From the stories of the public and explanations from officials at the time, it seems pretty clear it was not a simple error or comedy of errors.

Editorial
The pollbook delay went beyond incompetence. These conclusions and fines should not take close to three years.  The well-compensated registrars should be paying the fines not the City.

Why Signatures and Checking Them Matter

A vigilant Registrar in New Haven pursues suspicions.  From the New Haven Independent  Judge Hopeful Submits Forged Signatures <read>

Americo Carchia Wednesday said he’s considering whether to end his campaign for probate judge and vowed to cooperate with any potential criminal investigations after learning that he had submitted petitions with forged signatures to qualify for the Sept. 12 Democratic primary ballot.

Voter Suppression is not just Southern, Intentional, and Advantageous to those in charge.

Typically the Justice Department goes after Southern states, alleging intentional voter suppression by Republicans against voters who would be expected to vote predominately Democratic. To me, it usually quacks like that duck. Not so in Connecticut, we apparently do it through incompetence at our “legend in its own line”, DMV.

Hartford Courant, Jon Lender: Officials Tense, Tight-Lipped On Feds’ Probe Of State ‘Motor Voter’ Program <read>

Hartford Election Report: Sad, yet an easy recommended read.

As they and we often say, “Diagnosis before cure”. Lest the cure be ineffective or worse than the disease.

The Hartford Common Council empowered a Committee of Inquiry to gather facts on the widely reported late opening of polls on election day, the long known disfunction in the Registrars Office, and the less reported inaccurate, yet to be corrected reports of election results. We recommend reading the whole report. It is an easy read, yet sad, disappointing, and as some have said outrageous

Education “Reform” provides lessons for voting integrity

? What is more important to you? Democracy or the Education of our children?

Answer: <click>

Nov 2012 Post-Election Audit Report – Flawed From The Start

Coalition Finds Continuing Problems with Election Audit and A New Flaw

Post-Election Audit Flawed from the Start by Highly Inaccurate List
of Election Districts

The report concluded, the official audit results do not inspire confidence because of the:

  • Lack of integrity in the random district selection.
  • Lack of consistency, reliability, and transparency in the conduct of the audit.
  • Discrepancies between machine counts and hand counts reported to the Secretary of the State by municipalities and the lack of standards for determining need for further investigation of discrepancies.
  • Weaknesses in the ballot chain-of-custody.

Coalition spokesperson Luther Weeks noted, “We found significant, unexplained errors, for municipalities across the state, in the list of districts in the random drawing. This random audit was highly flawed from the start because the drawing was highly flawed.”

Cheryl Dunson, President, League of Women Voters of Connecticut, stated,, “Two years ago, the Legislature passed a law, at the Secretary of the State’s request, which was intended to fix inaccuracies in the drawing. For whatever reason, errors in the drawing have dramatically increased.

Weeks added, “Some officials follow the audit procedures and do effective work. This year one town investigated discrepancies and found errors to correct in their election procedures – that is one value of performing the audits as intended.”

Without adherence to procedures, accurate random drawings, a reliable chain-of-custody, and transparent public follow-up, when discrepancies are reported, if there was ever a significant fraud or error it would not be recognized and corrected.
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