National

U.S. says it will not export tools to interfere in politics

Even the cicadas must know by now that the U.S. is engaged in massive collection of data on phone calls, emails, web access, and banking transactions. Those who a week ago were criticized as ‘conspiracy theorists’ for claiming the Government had such massive secret spying programs will now be criticized as ‘naive’ for not knowing this was going on all along. What more can we say? What can we add that has relevance to elections and election integrity?

GMO Danger: CALEA II (Government Modified Operating system)

Last week a group of computer security experts issued a warning about a proposed expansion of government spying know as CALEA II (Communications Assistance For Law Enforcement Assistance) being considered for “wire” tap expansion.

The report if anything understates the risks. Further, if you believe that, in general, government can be incompetent, that makes this plan even less effective and more risky.

LA: Two campigns debate absentee ballot fraud. Meanwhile in Hartford and New Haven plans to prove early voting works.

In La, apparently there is evidence and no disagreement that fraud occurred. The issue is which campaign did it. Maybe it is both? Absentee voting is a convenience, not just for voters, it really helps fraudsters as well.

Cash strapped New Haven would be a bad place to test early voting in 2013. It is the first competitive election in New Haven in 20 years. Turnout is all but guaranteed to increase – early voting or not – we can predict that early voting would get the credit.

Online voting system names winners in Canada

As the Connecticut General Assembly contemplates online voting, we should contemplate r the implications of the recent Liberal Party online vote. In this case it was a landslide. What if it was very very close? Or there were polls saying the other candidate should have won by a comfortable or small margin?

Bonus: 2,904 reasons in New York City alone, that Internet banking and Internet voting can be costly.

Absentee/Mail-In voting in the news again

Today we have two reports highlighting the worst of the risks. i.e. mass mail voting, sending ballots unsolicited to voters and tracking ballots to voters, completely eliminating the secret vote. One good thing about tracking, apparently it shows dramatically the problems with error and fraud, as well as the lack of official concern with integrity.

Misgivings about a decision, or the result in retrospect?

at the end of their careers or in retirement, justices tend to figure out where they screwed up. … Now we see that in retirement, O’Connor is still pining about Bush v. Gore.

Ironic: U.S. calls for increased election integrity … in Venezuela

This is about as ironic as it gets. First the United States has no mechanism for a full recount or audit of its national elections. Second, the call officially comes from John Kerry who overruled his friends, advisers, and supporters to throw in the towel early on the day after the Nov 2004 election, in spite of massive charges of fraud in Ohio – allegations, since largely justified.

Op-Ed: Internet Voting Security; Wishful Thinking Doesn’t Make It True

This was a simple online poll that was easily compromised. Internet voting vendor software will be harder to compromise, but this shows that computer security is hard and claims must be proved. Before we entrust critical public functions such as voting to such software, the public deserves a solid demonstration that such claims are truly substantiated, and policy makers need to be schooled in a proper skepticism about computer security. That has not yet happened.

The problem with Internet voting, in video and in text


Timely for us in Connecticut as our Legislature contemplates online, email, or fax voting for military voters, while they also contemplate mandating towns to provide Internet access to all registrars.

All we can say is “If election officials cannot afford to be on the Internet, how can they provide online, email, or fax voting? If they do not use email, how can they understand Internet Security?”

Testimony: Three bills, including the National Popular Vote

Monday I testified on three bills, primarily the National Popular Vote Compact. Although I oppose the bill, and have since 2007, I actually favor the popular election of the President. Yet, we have a mismatch between our current state-by-state election system which not a match for the demands of a national popular vote that is fair and one we can trust. Like Europe before the Euro, we have a lot of work to do and details to attend to before we could make the change.