Statewide errors threaten Nov. election

Update: At the GAE hearing in West Hartford, Gail Stempien, Assistant Registrar in Simsbury pointed to the failure of the voter registration system as an example of why Connecticut should not program our own memory cards. (Earlier, CTVotersCount member Denise Weeks had testified to the benefits of programming the memory cards within Connecticut, followed by 100% pre-testing before the cards are safely transported to registrars.)

Unfortunately, the voter registration system is an example of the state’s failure in managing outsourcing almost any significant responisibility, from computer systems, to highway and building contracts. As we have pointed out here, programming of memory cards in Connecticut by state employees, election officials or contractors is no panacea. However, the current system of programming of memory cards in secret by LHS in Massachusetts is fraught with unnecessary risks and has proven by UConn to fall far short in implementation, with no penalty for shoddy work.

We have proposed in testimony, a much more responsive, reliable, and closer to failsafe system. Yet, no system is fool proof (or knowledgeable insider proof). That is why we recommend sufficient post-election audits to detect errors and fraud, no matter what else is done to prevent problems.


As we reported last week, among the problems that did not occur on election day was the problems that occurred the day before the election with the state’s centralized voter registration system, now reported by Rick Guinness in the Middletown press <read>

The letter, sent to Gov. M. Jodi Rell and bearing last Thursday’s date, pleads with Rell to put state resources on the problems before it is too late…

Bysiewicz says. “We must do more to ensure that election officials across the state have the tools they need to get prepared for the presidential election.

“We believe hardware improvements must be made to ensure that registrars of voters can access and use the system effectively in the upcoming presidential election,” she says.

“Time is of the essence,” she continues in the letter. “We must begin preparing for the November 2008 election now.

Looking back seven years: <2001 Media Advisory>

Bysiewicz says NASS recommendations to modernize voting machines, maintain an accurate voter registration database, and for additional funding aimed at improving the election process are all needed and being considered by the 2001 Connecticut Legislature.

“Requiring all towns to join our centralized voter registration database will go a long way toward enhancing the efficiency of elections, particularly in the area of voter identification and reducing potential fraud,” she said. “As new technologies develop, we also have to be prepared to move on to the next generation of voting equipment.”


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.