ConnPost Covers Election Glitches

Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said there were only a “very, very small number of issues” with the new machines…
Bysiewicz said that of the 125 Connecticut precincts using the machines Tuesday, only six reported significant problems with their machines.

As a retired software engineer I would say this is not surprising, given the challenges of rolling out a new system with little opportunity to phase the system in one location at a time. Yet, it means we can expect perhaps 30 – 40 “significant” problems in November. Of course it is all context. We would be quite disturbed to learn that trucks going over Avon mountain had a 95% certainty of working brakes or that the state effectively guarded the Social Security numbers for 95% of the taxpayers. But a machine problem is not the same as uncovering a problem with an election – we hope that procedures were followed and that they will prevent these problems from compromising an election.

We can also choose to have blind faith that without adequate audits, without software transparency, and with secret programming, through miracles and trust in human nature our votes were counted accurately, that these six visible problems were not joined by invisible errors and intentional fraud.

One item in the article gives one pause in considering the integrity of such mitigating procedures:

While at Thomas Hooker School, about 75 ballots could not be immediately counted due to problems with the paper, because of the humidity. The paper ballots were too damp and the voting machine could not process them. The ballots were taken to the Town Clerk’s Office to be counted. It wasn’t immediately known when the count would take place.

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