No, its not the time for more electronics in Connecticut’s voting

An Op-Ed in the CT Mirror: It’s time to modernize the way Connecticut votes.

The main trust is that we should do more electronic automation of the election process in Connecticut such as electronic transmission of results and electronic pollbooks, and alluding to less pens and paper in voting.

Perhaps we can forgive the author for accepting at face value the claims of vendors and their customers that have sunk unnecessary millions into questionable technology. Sometimes it works well and saves time and effort, sometimes it doesn’t!

  • Lets start with electronic submission of results. That idea has a couple of basic flaws…

Our bottom line: Never change from Voter Marked Paper Ballots unless there is some dramatic technological breakthrough. Avoid connectivity for voting machines. Cautiously consider electronic pollbooks, with mandatory paper backup systems. Keep using our current AccuVoteOS until they really need replacing – perhaps better more economical alternatives will become available, perhaps they will comply with the new Federal standards expected soon.


Special Session Election Bill – Safe and Reasonable

Last week the General Assembly passed and the Governor signed a bill to help deal with a flood of mail-in ballots with a special kicker for Bridgeport.

Our summary, its good, it could have been better, or a lot lot worse.

237 Late Absentee Ballots in Enfield. Don’t Panic – Investigate

Hartford Courant Report:  U.S. Postal Service investigating why 237 absentee ballots showed up weeks late for Aug. 11 primary in Enfield

The U.S. Postal Service and the State Elections Enforcement Commission are investigating why 237 absentee ballots for the Aug. 11 primary showed up more than two weeks late at Enfield Town Hall…

The ballots showed up in batches more than two weeks after the Aug. 11 primary and were postmarked at the Enfield post office before being delivered on the same day. An initial batch of 65 ballots were suddenly delivered to Enfield’s town hall two weeks after the election, and then 49 arrived two days later, officials said.

“They were postmarked by a stamp by a person at the post office — not by a machine that they run through 1/4 u201a” Rosenberg said. “This is obviously a stamp.”

There were no legislative primaries in Enfield this year but the late-arriving ballots may have been a factor in the GOP primary for the 2nd Congressional District that includes Enfield. In that contest, Justin Anderson defeated Thomas Gilmer by 78 votes, according to results on the secretary of the state’s website.

This obviously may have potential implications for the November election,  may be a crime by postal officials or others, maybe not. Don’t panic yet. Some high level possibilities:

My Nov 3 Voting Plan

There have been many articles with quotes from the Secretary of the State, municipal clerks,  and registrars. Many Facebook posts with comments from voters, registrars and clerks. I have also read many articles about the changes in the Postal Service. From all that I have the following plan to assure my vote is counted in November You might consider it, if you vote in Connecticut:

  1. Wait for the prefilled application in the mail. It should arrive in late September. (If not received by Oct 1st, I will download an application from the SOTS Website AB Page.)
  2. Within 24 hours of receiving the AB application, I will carefully fill it out, following all directions.
  3. Also within 24 hours…

Verified Voting writes Secretary Merrill supporting Citizen Audit’s call for expanded audits

The Verified Voting Foundation has written a letter to Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, supporting expanded audits based on Connecticut’s expansion of absentee ballots: <read> Their support was based on the Citizen Audit’s recent Op-Ed. in the CTMirror.

Why I am not serving in a polling place in the August primary

A few weeks ago my local registrars emailed all recent polling place officials to ask if we would serve in the August primary. I was not looking forward to the anticipated email where I would have to choose. I had been thinking about it, knowing lots of facts positive and negative:

  • The email said there might be as few as three officials in a polling place – that sealed it for me.

I have proposed to assist in counting absentee ballots or other central office function. There, I can likely make a significant difference. Early in my election official career, I led a central count absentee ballot function five times.


CTMirror: Connecticut’s upcoming primary election should be audited. Will it really be?

Courant article on Merrill/Blumenthal press conference raises concerns.

In today’s Hartford Courant a report on yesterday’s press conference: Absentee ballot process smooth so far Blumenthal wants more election funding <read>

Gabe Rosenberg, a spokesman for Merrill, said the $45 million in additional funding would go toward new voting machines, new tabulators, more ballot boxes, voter education and enhanced cybersecurity. He said the funds, if distributed promptly, could ease a potentially chaotic Election Day in November.“It’s going to take along time to count because we don’t have high-speed ballot counters,” Rosenberg said. “That’s something we could buy with that kind of money.”…

As for the security of the new ballot boxes, Merrill said the receptacles were no less secure than a typical mailbox.“Just think of this as a mailbox,” she said. “The usual way you send back your ballot for 100 years is you send it back in the mail. This is just a fancy mailbox, and it’s here for a reason, because many town halls are still not open for business all the time.”

A crisis in nothing to waste, yet spending $45 million between now and November seems a bit excessive, especially when everything is complicated by COVID-19.

Block Chain Fantasy…Chained for good!

We told you so.  And now it is final, from the Hartford Courant: With $400M Fintech Village apparently dead, West Hartford Town Council prepares to move on; 

Aug 2019:  West Hartford Scam Playing Out As We Predicted