UConn paper warns of limitations of cryptography

Use of good tools must go hand-in-hand with good use of tools

Which, if any, of Connecticut’s 169 towns would be secure for Internet voting (let alone email and fax voting)?

Some of the smaller Connecticut towns have very part time registrars who maintain office hours as infrequent as one hour a week. Registrars in their 70’s and 80’s whose towns have not provided them with access to email. Towns that have resisted laws to require them to post meeting minutes on the web as too challenging and costly? How will those towns accept and provide security for email and fax voting? How about even our larger cities? How well prepared are they and can they be?

Enthusiastic support for the Secretary’s Performance Task Force Recommendations

Given the many members, the brief meetings, and the lack of representation of all interests, we were skeptical when the Task Force was convened. To our delight, we find that we can offer endorsement of each of the twenty-one recommendations in the report.

There is a lot to do in all the recommendations. It will take time, money, and deliberate work with everyone at the table. Our hope is that each of the recommendations will be thoroughly explored, evaluated, and acted upon, that none get overlooked.

UConn Report: Batteries and officials failing faster than previously reported

  Most projects start out slowly, and then sort of taper off.
    – Augustine’s Law #XL

Brennan Center: Changes in state laws could make voting harder

“Over the past century, our nation expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation. In 2011, however, that momentum abruptly shifted.”

CLARIFICATION: Official Post-Election Audit Report

We were surprised and pleased to open the following letter from Deputy Secretary of the State, James Spallone, clarifying/correcting some of the impressions left by the report. We appreciate the clarification.

We remain concerned when the differences between machine counts and hand counts reported by several registrars of voters. We also continue to be concerned, that such differences are attributed to hand counting errors, without investigation.

How Anonymous Are Paper Ballots?

A new research report brings into question the degree of anonymity in paper ballots. The finding raises potential concerns for states and election jurisdictions considering the merits of either making ballots available for public review or releasing them under freedom of information requests. We find reasons for concern with ballot anonymity and reasons for skepticism that the result will hold under additional research.

Report: What Hath HAVA Wrought?

Charles Stewart III, presented a fascinating report earlier this spring. It is forty-two pages, double spaced, yet engaging throughout. In addition to describing HAVA and its implications, the report covers the political process which resulted in a useful, yet insufficient response to the issues raised in 2000.

Researchers: Early Voting alone DECREASES turnout

Researchers found: The convenience of Early Voting depresses turnout. Election Day Registration increases turnout. When both are combined the effect is about the same as Election Day Registration alone.

UCONN: Failed memory cards caused by weak batteries, inadequate design

This week at the 2010 Electronic Voting Technology Workshop on Trustworthy Elections in Washington, D.C., Dr. Alex Shvartsman and his team from the Uconn VoTeR Center delivered a significant paper. It covered research into the cause of the complete failure of the AccuVote-OS memory cards, at an unacceptable rate — We suggest the costs of mitigating the problems should be born by the manufacturer and/or distributor since the ultimate cause is the inadequate design of the memory cards for their intended purpose.