HB 5732: Bill would eliminate the secret ballot at each voter’s option

Note: The General Administration and Elections Committee has taken up several election bills and concepts for this session. We are optimistic that some of the concepts will be developed and passed to provide increased election integrity.  Many of the bills taken up, often well intended, have unintended negative consequences. We are highlighting several of them to point out highlighting several of them to point out the good, the bad, and the unbelievable.

House Bill 5732

Introduced by:
REP. MOLGANO, 144th Dist.

AN ACT CONCERNING RECEIPTS FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF BALLOTS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General

Assembly convened:

That chapter 147 of the general statutes be amended to require a receipt for ballots cast by voters who vote by coloring in, with pencil, their selections and feed their ballots into a reader or by electronically recording selections using a station designed for physically disabled voters unable to use a paper ballot.

Statement of Purpose:

To allow voters using a colored-in or electronically recorded ballot cast at a station designed for physically disabled voters assurance of their selections.

First, we point out that a critical “or” in the bill gives any voter going to a polling place the option to get a receipt for their ballot, by filling it out with a pencil: “to require a receipt for ballots cast by voters who vote by coloring in, with pencil, their selections and feed their ballots into a reader or..”

Even if that were corrected, any voter can choose to use “a station designed for physically disabled voters”. Thus any polling place voter could choose the option of obtaining a receipt for their ballot.

Although apparently well intended, we point out that the IVS system does not meet the needs of disabled voters other than the visually impaired, presumably visually impaired severely enough to have significant problems reading a paper ballot; further the disabled have pursued such machines to provide themselves ability to vote independently and secretly. Do we need to point out that those same disabilities would prevent them from using the receipt independently and preserving their secret vote. If they wanted someone to make sure their vote was accurately cast the can choose almost anyone to assist them in the polling place, perhaps with more secrecy since they can choose someone to trust with filling out their ballot; keeping it secure from others; and not risking that a poll worker sees  their ballot or gives them a receipt that does not indeed match their vote.

The secret vote was implemented in the United States to prevent the selling and coercion of votes. Subjecting the secret ballot to each voter’s choice would negate its purpose and value.  Each voter’s vote being secret, preserves the the value everyone’s vote, because my vote’s value depends on yours not being sold or coerced.

Finally, we note no mechanism, costs, or safeguards in the bill.  How are the copies made? How much would it cost? How can the voter be sure the copy matches their ballot?  How is disclosure to any poll workers prevented in a way that the voter can be confident their vote is secret?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailFacebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.