Reform Moves Forward In Connecticut

While Federal reform is delayed, reform moved forward yesterday in Connecticut. The General Assembly Appropriations Committee passed H.B. 5888 with a joint favorable recommendation to the Legislature. On March 19th, the Government Administration and Elections Committee also passed the bill with a joint favorable recommendation.

H.B. 5888, An Act Concerning Revisions To The Optical Scan Voting System, makes one large future leap forward, along with several small and moderate improvements to increase election integrity in the near term. Its most important provision is to create an independent audit board:

Not later than December 1, 2008, the board shall develop standards and procedures for conducting audits of elections and primaries. In developing such standards and procedures, the board shall be cognizant of the current level of science utilized in the area of election auditing. Additionally, subject to any other provisions of law, such standards and procedures shall enable any such audit to commence within forty-eight hours of the time when state election officials announce the final unofficial vote in each district…

An Independent Audit Board will provide an opportunity to dramatically revise our current post-election audits which are inadequate and have proven ineffective in practice.

Another notable provision is for the 100% independent testing of memory cards within the State of Connecticut, prior to their shipment to registrars. This one provision alone will go a long way to prevent errors and fraud, while greatly reducing the burden of “junk” memory cards imposed on registrars:

Not later than October 1, 2008 … the Secretary of the State shall select a separate entity that shall be responsible for the testing of such memory cards: (1) After such programming but prior to shipment to registrars of voters, and (2) after the applicable election. Such testing shall be located within the state. The Secretary of the State shall implement procedures for the secure transport of such memory cards to and from the entities described in this section.

While we would have stronger audits, codified, and started sooner, we fully support the bill as it will move Connecticut forward with an Independent Audit Board, while in the meantime increasing election integrity.

Our thanks to the GAE Committee leadership for holding public hearings across the state < 1 2 3 4 5 >, developing, and supporting this bill. We also thank the Secretary of the State, Susan Bysiewicz, for her support of the Independent Audit Board which will provide an audit entirely independent of her office.

Much work remains to be accomplished. The most pressing item is passing H.B. 5888 by the full legislature.


One response to “Reform Moves Forward In Connecticut”

  1. The BRAD BLOG : 'Daily Voting News' For April 16, 2008

    […] CT: Reform Moves Forward In Connecticut […]

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