Testimony on Well-Intended Bill That Would End Publicly Verifiable Elections

On Monday we testified against H.B.5173 An Act Protecting the Privacy of Voters

Note that  this version of partially protecting some voters includes preventing open, transparent, and publicly verifiable elections by any and all voters, candidates, and parties.

Here is my testimony <read>. This is the summary:

The heart and soul of democracy is justified trust in elections. [This Bill]would be a death blow to the heart of public verifiability. [It] would preclude independent verification of the lists and electors recorded as voting; it would preclude officials from demonstrating to the public that our elections are on the up and up.

Like paper ballots, voter registration records need to be open, transparent, and publicly verifiable. (And recorded on paper.)

In my verbal testimony, I added to my written concerns that procedures, regulations, and most importantly laws need to change to be consistent with this proposed law, so that election officials and clerks can know how to implement the law, given its many conflicts with current law.

I also noted that it was “Address Suppression Light”, given that it did not suppress all the other addresses which are suppressed under the existing address suppression program, like land records. The regular address suppression program also includes an ID card issued to those that have their addressed suppressed, so they can be positively identified in the polls.  (There are books written, mostly for felons, on how to find addresses for police, judges, and prosecutors etc. Many of those avenues remain unprotected by this bill).

Here is all the testimony submitted <read>

On one side in favor, was Secretary of the State Denise Merrill and the Connecticut League of Women Voters.

On the other side against, included CTVotersCount, the FOI Commission, State Elections Enforcement Commission, and the Freedom of Information Council.

The ACLU seemed to be in favor of expanding some provisions and against others.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.