July 2010

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IRV: Is it legal in Connecticut? Can our scanners compute it?

Recently we posted and commented on an article in The Day, covering the Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) proposal for New London. The article quoted Secretary of the State Bysiewicz on the constitutionality of the IRV and if our AccuVote-OS scanners could be used for an IRV election. The post prompted comments and the need for more complete answers. We queried the Secretary of the State’s Office and Jeff Silvestro, General Manager of LHS Associates. Mr. Silvestro responded:

Podcast: Democratic candidates debate voting on WATR

We were about to write a post about how little voting and voting integrity discussion we have heard in the Secretary of the State campaigns so far. Yet, yesterday there was a joint appearance/debate between the Democratic Primary candidates Gerry Garcia and Denise Merrill which focused manly on voting issues, including voting integrity

IRV New London: Residents, Registrar, and Candidate concerns

“Instant Runoff Voting is a well intended idea, but does not work as advertised in real life elections. For that reason, several jurisdictions have rejected IRV after one or two implementations.”

“There’s no point to it, Why go to something like this? Most people don’t understand it. Most people don’t want it.”

Report: Connecticut below average

This is good news! A Caltech/MIT Report measuring address errors in voter registration files places Connecticut below average in the number of bad addresses.

Court Allows UConn/Dr. Shvartsman Test Of Nassau County, NY Voting Machines

Over the objections of the NY Board of Elections, The Supreme Court of the State of New York Nassau County, ordered the testing of voting machines by the University of Connecticut and Dr. Alex Shvartsman.

CA Prop 14: Unsafe at any but greed?

Winsted, Connecticut native, Ralph Nader tells us why Prop 14 is good for big business and unhealthy for democracy. We place the misguided voter support of Prop 14 on our “list of good sounding ideas for fighting the last election.

The Day, Susan Bysiewicz, and we agree: No IRV for New London

The Day points to the complexity of issues for voters with several charter changes combined, especially Instant Runoff Voting (IRV), while referencing the Secretary of the State’s objections that IRV cannot be counted by our optical scanners and that IRV is currently illegal in Connecticut.

No-Excuse Absentee Voting – Unintended Consequences

As the Connecticut legislature, Secretary of the State candidates, and our current Secretary of the State contemplate following Florida’s lead in expanding mail-in voting, including considering no-excuse absentee voting, we have this cautionary tale from Florida.
This is another fast-food-like voting issue. We like no excuse absentee voting, just like we enjoy fast, fatty food – the problem is that they both have unintended consequences. Yet, most voters and many eaters are not aware of the known risks.

What do [Connecticut] voters think?

A new Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project Report provides insight into the opinions of voters on several voting reform issues. We comment on Connecticut specific results and editorialize on voting integrity implications of the survey. We recommend the survey and commentary be contemplated by activists, legislators, and future Secretaries of the State.

Who are you going to believe? Scientists or Vendors?

“Enter online voting vendors looking to break into the market on the backs of these two groups. They ride in to save the day with big promises and high-tech solutions. Security becomes little more than sale pitch, like shiny chrome or electronic gadgetry in a new car. ‘You want security – we got security.’…Vendors need to stand in the corner with bankers and oil companies. Just whose elections are these anyway?”