Connecticut not alone in election adminstration challenges

MapSince the election on November 4th we have had all sorts of complaints about Connecticut election administration. Claims that we are the slowest, with the most clueless election officials. And all sorts of cures proposed including more mail-in votes, electronic calculation of results, and reorganization of election administration.

We agree with that their are many problems. We agree with the general outlines of some of the cures. Yet, we caution against knee-jerk reaction, and change without planning and analysis.

We suggest looking at the best practices from other states. Yet, we can also learn from the mistakes and foibles of other states. Often those employing some of those very cures proposed for Connecticut.

Editorial: Diagnosis before cure. Planning before plunging ahead.

We agree in part with the other critics, that we need radical change in Connecticut election administration. Yet, we need a carefully considered approach and a deliberate implementation of change. Our recommended approach is to do for elections what we have done for probate: Regionalize, Prioritize, and Economize. It won’t be easy, simple, or cheap in the short run, yet simply moving local administration to municipal clerks as many suggest would be a band-aid, with many of the same limitations and risks of the current system.

Catching Up – More Post-Election Fallout

Starting with three more articles in the Courant on Thursday: An apology, a column, and an editorial.

2nd Graders Draw 77 Districts for Audit – Secretary Draws Races for Audit

DrawingYesterday, four members from the Citizen Audit attended the random drawing of districts and races for the November 2014 post-election audit. The districts were drawn by 2nd graders of Gilead Elementary School in Hebron.

Let us act deliberatly to actually improve elections

We are amazed by the number of election integrity issues raised by this election and the flurry of suggestions for improvement, led by the Hartford Courant. Yet in all the excitement and rush to judgement and improvement, among the good intentions and good ideas, there is also a misunderstanding of the system, ideas that are not feasible, uninformed, and that would make a worse system.

Election Wrap-Up: Got one right, one wrong, and “Who Could Have Imagined”

1. Can Hartford registrars do more than complain?

2. Don’t rely on all of our predictions.

3. We are not wrong all of the time

We Got It Right On Election Day Registration, “Who could have imagined?” We did. And we were not alone.

Final Warning: Don’t say “Who could have imagined?”

Many of our friends are on the other side of this vote. Some say the Legislature will hold hearings and do the right thing – even though they are upset at what the Legislature has done with election financing. I would support secure in-person early voting, but that is not on the ballot and unlikely to be the result of a “Yes” vote.

The Perfect Storm meets illegal, disasterous voting

" When hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, New Jersey exposed the vote and voters to additional risks.
New report from Rutgers:

The Perfect Storm: Voting In New Jersey In The Wake of Superstorm Sandy

Warning #3: Yes, Connecticut, your votING fraud is in the mail

When it comes to mail-in, no-excuse absentee voting we can learn a lot here in Connecticut and New England. You will hear many claim that we need stronger voter ID because of rampant votER fraud and others say there is no problem with expanding absentee voting since there is no votER fraud. They are both wrong, wrong, wrong!

How can we vote on Internet that is unsafe for banks, Canada, and alarms the President?

Recent articles highlight the folly and blind faith in technology leading many to trust voting on the Internet.

As Roosevelt said “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” seems to apply here.

There are real cyber risks, we need to protect or digital assets. Yet it does not help to jump to the conclusion that every breech is the work of our biggest enemy of the moment.

Like building new civic centers, baseball stadiums, and bankrolling fishing and hunting retailers there is plenty of real world evidence that Internet voting does not work well, yet we persist despite the evidence. Apparently the technology that actually works to protect Democracy, a technology actually under assault in Connecticut, is Freedom of Information.

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