February 2013

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Nov 2012 Post-Election Audit Report – Flawed From The Start

Coalition Finds Continuing Problems with Election Audit and A New Flaw

Post-Election Audit Flawed from the Start by Highly Inaccurate List
of Election Districts

The report concluded, the official audit results do not inspire confidence because of the:

  • Lack of integrity in the random district selection.
  • Lack of consistency, reliability, and transparency in the conduct of the audit.
  • Discrepancies between machine counts and hand counts reported to the Secretary of the State by municipalities and the lack of standards for determining need for further investigation of discrepancies.
  • Weaknesses in the ballot chain-of-custody.

Coalition spokesperson Luther Weeks noted, “We found significant, unexplained errors, for municipalities across the state, in the list of districts in the random drawing. This random audit was highly flawed from the start because the drawing was highly flawed.”

Cheryl Dunson, President, League of Women Voters of Connecticut, stated,, “Two years ago, the Legislature passed a law, at the Secretary of the State’s request, which was intended to fix inaccuracies in the drawing. For whatever reason, errors in the drawing have dramatically increased.

Weeks added, “Some officials follow the audit procedures and do effective work. This year one town investigated discrepancies and found errors to correct in their election procedures – that is one value of performing the audits as intended.”

Without adherence to procedures, accurate random drawings, a reliable chain-of-custody, and transparent public follow-up, when discrepancies are reported, if there was ever a significant fraud or error it would not be recognized and corrected.
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Testimony: Three bills, including the National Popular Vote

Monday I testified on three bills, primarily the National Popular Vote Compact. Although I oppose the bill, and have since 2007, I actually favor the popular election of the President. Yet, we have a mismatch between our current state-by-state election system which not a match for the demands of a national popular vote that is fair and one we can trust. Like Europe before the Euro, we have a lot of work to do and details to attend to before we could make the change.

Testimony: Online voting and three other bills

The hearing was close to six and one-half hours, 11:00am – 5:30pm. I was next to the last speaker. I applaud the committee members and public staying until the end, especially the two Co-Chairs and the Senate Ranking Member – they really listened to me and the last speaker, they asked excellent questions and provided the time for complete answers. Five Registrars of Voters also stayed as well.

Fax and email voting: Hearing Highlights

With the same success as Rhode Island, perhaps this bill would decrease Connecticut’s failed return rate from 40% to 36.8%.

Testimony: Worse than online voting, fax and email voting

I applaud this Committee for holding hearings on this Unconstitutional, Risky, Unnecessary, and Discriminatory bill. Last year, without hearings, this concept it was placed far down in an unrelated emergency bill.

State Of The Union, voting

The value and risk will be in the details. Will the commission effectively address problems without causing unintended consequences? Or will it be a mixed bag of expensive reforms like the Help America Vote Act? Time will tell if the Commission and the Congress follow through on sensible reforms and heed the advice of advocates to consider voting integrity as part of actual reforms.

Edmonton rejects Internet voting 11-2

It has been a matter of consideral discussion and evaluation in Edmonton, Alberta. Should they jump on the bandwagon and double the cost of elections to accept the risks of Internet voting? For now, Edmonton is solidly on the side of science, rejecting Internet voting for very good reasons.

Like DDT, Nuclear Power, Fast Food, and GMOs, Internet voting has some very attractive, beneficial aspects, yet there are often unknown, overlooked, or downplayed real or potential problems. It takes a lot of careful research and evaluation to determine the net current and future risks and benefits.

Oversease Vote Foundation and US Vote Summit

There were several panels discussing the statistics from the November election and what is next. Two talks were particularly interesting, contrasting, and relevant. Take a look yourself and contemplate the difference between a successful, economical, conventional system to serve overseas voters and an expensive, risky, and unproven system of Internet voting yet to be implemented.