[Why NOT] Let Overseas Military Fax Votes Home ?

Connecticut does need to improve the voting process for military voters — but Internet voting is not the answer.

Every day, headlines reveal just how vulnerable and insecure any online network really is, and how sophisticated, tenacious and skilled today’s attackers are. Just last week, we learned that the U.S. has already experienced our first-ever documented attack on an election system, when a grand jury report revealed that someone hacked into the Miami-Dade primary elections system in August 2012.

ACLU Forum on Electoral Dysfunction

On Wednesday night I participated on a panel in Waterford, CT on Electoral Dysfunction, sponsored by the ACLU, Common Cause and the LWV. It was a very good discussion with a variety of views from the panel, a wide range of excellent questions, and unsurpassed moderation. In the near future we may have video available. I promised to provide more information here on the topics covered.

Online voting bill moves while Cyber Security Command outlines risks

Here in the land of steady habits, we are ready to move forward with blinders at the ready, apparently confident that our registrars, town clerks, and state IT department will never discover any attacks on on our voting systems, email systems, or fax machines.

Testimony against six bills and for one

All of these bills are well intended. In fact, I would support most of the concepts, yet in only a single case could I support one of these bills , based on huge gaps between the good intent and the actual details present and missing in those bills.

Groundhog Deja Vue for Fax, Email Voting

Now we have it, a redrafted S.B. 647. We do not know who was involved around the table rewriting it, yet what we have is almost an exact copy of the bill Governor Malloy vetoed last year as risky and unconstitutional.

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?”

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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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.

Testimony: Online voting and three other bills

The hearing was close to six and one-half hours, 11:00am – 5:30pm. I was next to the last speaker. I applaud the committee members and public staying until the end, especially the two Co-Chairs and the Senate Ranking Member – they really listened to me and the last speaker, they asked excellent questions and provided the time for complete answers. Five Registrars of Voters also stayed as well.

Fax and email voting: Hearing Highlights

With the same success as Rhode Island, perhaps this bill would decrease Connecticut’s failed return rate from 40% to 36.8%.

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