Legislature To Hold Public Hearings On Optical Scan Elections

The leadership of the Government Administration and Elections Committee(GAE) announced a series of five public hearings at a press conference yesterday. One hearing will be held in each of the five congressional districts in the state. Towns where the hearings will be held were announced with no specific dates or locations. Their goal is to have the hearings during the 2nd and 3rd week of February. The towns will be West Hartford, Norwich, East Haven, Norwalk, and Danbury.

I attended the press conference but did not take verbatim quotes so I will summarize.

This is very good news for several reasons.

  • The GAE clearly recognizes that the public as well as registrars have concerns.
  • The GAE indicated that they have heard from registrars but also want to hear more from the public.
  • The areas of concern recognized so far include: registrars’ concerns for time and cost of recounts and audits; voters concerns with election day privacy, with the optical scan machine integrity, and with the integrity of the audits. (our coalition report was mentioned in the press conference)
  • The GAE is open to hearing the public and, if warranted, changing the law in the short session.
  • It is a true bi-partisan effort supported by the committee co-chairs and the ranking members. Democrats Caruso, Slossberg, and Urban. Republicans Freedman and Heartherington.

I was also pleased with the questions from the press, asking about Connecticut vs New Hampshire, and the outsourcing of elections to LHS. The GAE members said that we may well learn from the experience in New Hampshire.

On the other side of the ledger, the GAE is open to considering an optical scan based recount in close races. They say it is only one suggestion and they are not at this point recommending it. We have seen that the machines usually count accurately, yet they also frequently count inaccurately both in New Hampshire and in Connecticut. We certainly hope this idea is quickly abandoned in favor of physics, science, and reason.

Update: Stamford Advocate Story <read>

“[Secretary of the State Bysiewicz] Susan’s been the biggest cheerleader for this system and at times I don’t think she’s been able to step back and look at it objectively (and) hear some of the problems that are occurring,” Caruso said.

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One response to “Legislature To Hold Public Hearings On Optical Scan Elections”

  1. The BRAD BLOG : 'Daily Voting News' For January 25, 2008

    […] CT: Legislature To Hold Public Hearings On Optical Scan Elections http://www.ctvoterscount.org/?p=136 […]

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