Other Editorials

Daughters (Sons and Elders) head Jonathan Simon’s advice to his Daughter.

Jonathan Simon, via WhoWhatWhy.org Letter to My Nonvoting Daughter:

“My daughter, 28, recently wrote in an email to me, “I’m so disappointed in how the world is right now, I don’t vote because of it.”

Here is my response to her.

Dear L_____,

A lecture is coming that you’ll probably feel you could live without. Nevertheless, I persist.

Reminiscent of our past post:


Elections Should be Grounded in Evidence, Not Blind Trust

Commentary in Barron’s this week Elections Should be Grounded in Evidence, Not Blind Trust <read>

Even though there is no compelling evidence the 2020 vote was rigged, U.S. elections are insufficiently equipped to counter such claims because of a flaw in American voting. The way we conduct elections does not routinely produce public evidence that outcomes are correct.

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.


Verified Voting’s Policy on DREs and BMDs

This week Verified Voting released a Policy on DREs and BMDs. It is consistent with our  views.

But it’s not enough for a voting system to “check the box” on paper – to print paper records that voters may not even notice or examine. To be trustworthy, elections need to be based on voter-marked paper ballots. Whether these ballots are marked by hand or by device, for them to be considered voter-marked, voters should know what they say!

As they say: “We have had some long and sometimes difficult conversations about these topics, and we look forward to more.”

The constitutional case against partisan gerrymandering

The Chicago Tribune, via Verified Voting: The constitutional case against partisan gerrymandering

The case against partisan gerrymandering is not hard to make. It frustrates democracy by preventing voters from evicting those in power. It penalizes voters of one party or the other by deliberately diluting their electoral strength. It renders the consent of the governed largely moot.

The System That Won’t Prove It Is Accurate

Jonathan Simon says it so well at Truthout: Between Trump and a Hard Place: The Truth About “Rigged” Elections 

It should be rather obvious that the unidentified insiders charged with the programming, and anyone working through them, enjoy an even greater level of access to the counting process than do foreign hackers targeting our systems from the outside. It should be obvious that this is a colossally stupid risk for our nation to take. And it should be obvious that there is something wake-up-and-smell-the-coffee wrong when those upon whom the public relies for information refuse to seriously address and come clean about that risk…Only a public, observable counting process (i.e., hand-counted paper ballots or uniform public audits with gleaming teeth) can rebuild our shattered faith in the fidelity of our electoral process.

I chose the post title deliberately. “The System” is not computers or pollworkers, but the whole voting system created by people we have put in charge. That system could be changed moderately to provide proof of its accuracy. It is that the system of people won’t recognize and address the problem.

Digital Democracy Good – for Voting Bad Bad Bad!

Our friends across the pond are thinking of Internet Voting. Tech unsavvy elders apparently want to entice young voters. Hopefully, the young are savvy enough to understand the security risks and are too smart to trust democracy to smart phones.

Editorial in ComputerWorldUK highlighted at TheVotingNews: Digital Democracy? – Yes, Please; but Not Online Voting

Not everything you want, is a solution to every problem

In Wednesday’s print edition of the Courant, one in a series of editorials setting an agenda for the State, Agenda Toward A More Open Government. There is much to like and agree with in the editorial: Stronger investigative subpoena for state prosecutors; closing the cash spigot for campaign finance; and strengthening the watchdog agencies.

While we are skeptical of the benefits of open primaries, their potential, and ultimately the value of “more moderate nominees”, we are particularly in disagreement with one section, Do-Over for Early Voting.

Its been said that when you only have a hammer, you see that as a cure to every problem.

Ambitious agenda should be reasoned and well-planned

In today’s print edition of the Courant, one in a series of editorials setting an agenda for the State, Agenda 2015: Ambitious Goals For The State, one portion focuses on elections,

We diverge from the Courant in our opinion. We continue to point out that the most comprehensive system of election administration reform would be to regionalize elections, obtaining some of the same benefits obtained by regionalizing probate.

Also, Professionalization does not include ignoring science. There is a reason we do not connect our scanners to the internet to report results.

Let us act deliberatly to actually improve elections

We are amazed by the number of election integrity issues raised by this election and the flurry of suggestions for improvement, led by the Hartford Courant. Yet in all the excitement and rush to judgement and improvement, among the good intentions and good ideas, there is also a misunderstanding of the system, ideas that are not feasible, uninformed, and that would make a worse system.