Letter: Email, Fax Voting Provisions Mar Campaign Bill

Our letter opposing H.B. 5556 was published in the print edition of the Hartford Courant today, available online by searching letters <read>

Email, Fax Voting Provisions Mar Campaign Bill

Luther Weeks, Glastonbury
The writer is executive director of CTVotersCount.
on 2012-06-03

There are additional reasons Gov. Dannel P. Malloy should veto the campaign finance bill [June 3, editorial, “Veto This Bill”].

Without public hearings, provisions were added mandating email and fax voting for military and overseas voters. Each of our 169 town clerks must implement email voting in time for the August primary, with no standards for security, no provisions for informing intended voters, and no funding.

There have never been public hearings on email or fax voting in Connecticut. Last year, the legislature held hearings on online voting resulting in a symposium at CCSU broadcast by CT-N. Three leading computer scientists confirmed for legislators that Internet voting is unsafe. Email and fax voting are less secure than online voting. We all have the experience of lost emails and fake emails from our bank. Large corporations and the U.S. military have been unable to protect networks from outsider and insider attacks.

The bill asks military and overseas voters to sign away their right to a secret vote, recognizing that the system will at minimum expose their votes to officials in town hall. Yet, the purpose of a secret vote, guaranteed by the Connecticut Constitution, is each voter’s right that no other voter’s vote can be bought or coerced. One voter cannot sign away the rights of every other voter.

That is about all that could be fit into the 200 word limit. Many citizens and legislators do not understand that email voting is a risky form of Internet voting and that fax voting presents equivalent risks. They do not understand the technical and administrative challenges of implementing the law in 169 small, medium, and large towns, some of which have asked for exemptions from maintaining web sites.

If the system worked as it should, there would have been public hearings and a chance to educate our senators and representatives.

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