Norwich Bulletin: Merrill pitches for more tech, less costs in elections

Saving money, getting people voting are laudable goals, yet we caution that in the process we should not sacrifice voting integrity and confidence in pursuing increased participation. In fact, we should be increasing integrity and confidence while we also pursue convenience and participation. And we should be cautious that our efforts actual result in the intended results.

Bridgeport: Judge rules for primary challenge, delays primary two weeks

We agree that the Judge made the correct decision in this case. However we caution, this ruling should not be taken as a general precedent that candidates and election officials can make unlimited errors, without consequences. This is a case where the will of the petition signers is clear; the campaign complied with the law to the extent humanly possible; the campaign was not responsible for any failure to comply with the letter of the law; no harm to the public occurs from this decision and significant harm if the primary were denied. There will always a be need for common sense.

Elections Performance Task Force: Technology Fair and Doug Chapin

You can have little to no impact on your turn-out bottom line with election laws. Turnout tends to be driven by what’s on the ballot rather than when, where, or how it is available. – Doug Chapin

Letter: Feedback after first meeting of the Election Performance Task Force

Having reviewed the video, minutes, and the proposed items to be addressed by the task force, we offer the attached general and specific comments and suggestions in a constructive spirit, to forward your efforts to achieve the democratic goals that we all hold dear.

CLARIFICATION: Official Post-Election Audit Report

We were surprised and pleased to open the following letter from Deputy Secretary of the State, James Spallone, clarifying/correcting some of the impressions left by the report. We appreciate the clarification.

We remain concerned when the differences between machine counts and hand counts reported by several registrars of voters. We also continue to be concerned, that such differences are attributed to hand counting errors, without investigation.

EVT/WOTE: When is the CT Recanvass law totally inadequate?

To be reasonably sure that the correct candidate is officially designated as the winner in a race with a write-in candidate, it would be prudent to assume the possibility of a 25% undercount of write-in votes. Then require a recount of all write-in votes in a race where the write-in candidate received at least 42% of the votes in a two candidate race (or 42% of the votes necessary to win in a more than two candidate race.)

Secretary of the State convenes “Elections Performance Task Force”

We note an emphasis on voter convenience and making “life easier for our local officials”. These are laudable goals, however, these should be balanced with an equal emphasis on voting integrity, transparency, and “counting every vote”, providing voters with justified confidence in the system. We wish the task force well and hope that all relevant goals will be considered. While the task force plans to “look at new, innovative technologies” it includes no experts on technology or security.

Audit Report: Flawed by lack of transparency, incomplete data, and assumed accuracy

Lack of transparency in the process, provides no basis for public confidence in the process, in the audit, and ultimately in our election system. The purpose of the audit is to determine the accuracy of the optical scanners, that purpose is negated when the accuracy is assumed. A statistical calculation based on randomly selected data, omitting some of that data not randomly chosen for omission, is invalid.

Let us consider doing for Elections what we have done for Probate

The legislature should be considering doing for our elections what we have done for probate. I am not the 1st to suggest this, let us hope that our legislature is not the last to consider it.

Some Question Integrity Of Union Vote

There seems to be several issues. First, does the overall process and accounting for approval correspond to predetermined bylaws and rules? Second, will the election itself be free from manipulation? And Third, is it sufficiently transparent to generate confidence in the losing side that they actually lost?

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