Denise Merrill does the right thing – by all voters and the CT Constitution

AP Story: Conn. official recommends out-of-state military voters download ballot but still mail in vote <read> <update – the report>

Last year the CT Legislature, ignoring the technical impossibility of secure, secret Internet Voting, ordered the Secretary of the State and the Military Department to provide secure Internet voting for Military and their dependents.  This was in spite of testimony and reports from Computer Scientists, experts from Homeland Security, experts from the National Institute of Standards, and Department of Defense reports that Internet voting could not be made secure. She was also to report back this year with any legislation required.

Merrill has remained steadfast in her commitment to protect us from the risks of Internet voting. She is recommending a system to aid the Military in downloading blank ballots and mailing them in quicker. A system that has proven successful in other states. She also reminds the Legislature that Internet voting (including Fax and Email return) would be unconstitutional in Connecticut,  requiring a Constitutional Amendment to remove the right to a “secret vote”. (Some argue it is a right that can be waived by a voter. We contend it is every voter’s right that no other voter’s vote can be document, such that it can be sold or intimidated).

Meanwhile, the bill’s proponent, Senator Gayle Slossberg, plans to continue efforts to defy Science and the Constitution.

There is a dispute in the facts between Secretary Merrill, the Election Assistance Commission, and Senator Gayle Slossberg on the current rate of Military vote return (61% vs. 94%). In any case if Senator Slossberg is correct, and we adopted the Rhode Island system she recommends, it is only used there for 3.2% of the military votes returned after being in place for years, thus we would have a whooping 64% return rate. The 94% sounds really good, they rate right up there with the return of domestic AB votes, and up there with other states that already use the system recommended by Secretary Merrill.

We would encourage the Secretary and the Legislature to provide the same system to all overseas voters, including those beyond the Military that serve us, such as State Department employees, Military Contractors, Peace Corps, NGO staff, and business personel.

See all our posts on Internet voting, and its history in Connecticut <here>


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