Do Not Hide Voter Information

Voting as we know it, depends on two important keys that are often difficult for the public, media, and sometimes even experts to understand.  One is the need for anonymous voting, aka the “secret ballot”.   The other is the need for voting rolls and the record of who voted to be public.  We addressed that second one in a letter published in the Hartford Courant today:

Do Not Hide Voter Information

I was surprised to learn that Dan Barrett, Connecticut ACLU legal director, was against “any old person on the street [being] able to access [voter rolls].”

Voting rolls and check-in lists need to be available to every citizen, young and old, so that the public can be assured that only registered voters voted, that they voted in the correct primary, that the number of ballots match the number of voters checked in, and that those checked in actually did vote. Otherwise there is no basis for trust in democracy.

Public voting rolls provide the only means for individuals and news organizations to independently investigate voting fraud; they provide officials with the credible proof that fraud is limited; and they help the public to trust in decisions by the State Elections Enforcement Commission.

Not so long ago, UConn students used that data to expose the extent to which the rolls included deceased voters. That same data was used by officials to demonstrate, in a way that could be verified, that very few of those entries were associated with actual fraud. More recently, those public rolls were used to uncover and confirm that a state representative had voted for several years and had been elected based on an illegal residence. Currently, there is a criminal investigation underway in Stamford based on absentee voters checked off who did not actually vote.

What prompted this letter was an article with the quote along with quotes from several officials proposing to restrict access to voter rolls Lawmakers Seek More Voter Privacy <read>



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