CTVotersCount Members Testify At GAE Hearing

On Friday 2/29/2008 the Government Administration And Elections Committee held hearings on a variety of bills, several of which involve election administration <Agenda>

While we have interests for and against some of the other bills, three members of CTVotersCount testified toward improvements in SB 444, AN ACT CONCERNING CERTAIN REVISIONS AND TECHNICAL CHANGES TO THE ELECTION LAWS.

Denise Weeks, co-founder, testified to the vulnerability of the optical scan machines to error and fraud, frequently siteing the excellent work of the UConn VoTeR center team led by Dr. Alex Shvartsman. <testimony> <UConn Report>

I believe the greatest threat to the integrity of our voting systems comes from their susceptibility to fraud and I am here to ask that you continue to mandate hand counts for audits AND recounts.

In my recent testimony to the committee in West Hartford, I outlined several ways in which the Optical Scanner is vulnerable to fraud in ways that would evade pre-election testing. I was speaking hypothetically at the time, based on my own experience as a manager of large application testing projects.

However, we need go no further that our own Voting Technology Research Center at UCONN for examples that support my conclusions.

In a recent report, Dr. Shvartsman and his team outline several types of malicious code that could be introduced to alter the result of elections AND show how such attacks could avoid detection in pre-election testing

Melinda Valencia , CTVotersCount Member, testified to the inadequacies of the post-election audits, the recent improvements in the audit procedures, the remaining inadequates of the audits, and her own experience. <written testimony not available>

Yours truly testified to improvements needed in the audit law, a proposal for in-state programming on memory cards, and a proposal to rationalize or centralize the post-election audits. <testimony> <draft bill text>

Solution # 1 Emergency Fixes To Our Audit Law

SB 444 simply repeats most of the inadequacies, loopholes, and mistakes in PA 07-194.

I have attached suggested text to modify our current audit law which I request be used to augment or replace appropriate sections SB 444.

Solution # 2 Memory Card Programming That Is Simpler and More Secure

Audits deal with detecting and correcting errors and fraud. This solution deals with prevention.

LHS’s programming and quality control is inadequate. Random testing to find errors after the fact is inadequate. The chain-of-custody is inadequate. Procedures are difficult for Registrars to follow.

There is a solution that will solve all of these problems. Programming the cards in Connecticut — 100% independent testing in Connecticut, located near the programming — Swift delivery under a strong chain of custody to Registrars.

Solution # 3 Audits That Are More Reliable, More Secure, More Effective,and Less Costly

Advocates and computer scientists want more secure and reliable audits. This means more transparent audits and more comprehensive audits, started and completed very soon after the election.

Registrars do not like the added burden of occasional random audits

Municipalities do not like the costs

Statisticians’ formulas indicate that audits like we have in Connecticut, 10% of 20% of races, is in some cases excessive, and in others woefully inadequate.

All of these conflicting requirements seem impossible when viewed in the context of Connecticut’s audits conduced by individual towns.

The solution for Connecticut, is audits conducted under the guidance and supervision of an Independent Audit Board.


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