Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Counting votes in Connecticut

Here in Connecticut we have a really good election system. Sec. of State Denise Merrill has done a wonderful job in helping ensure our elections remain fair and honest.

What I think makes a huge difference here is that we have a system that can and is audited regularly. States that have fully electronic voting machines are at risk of having the results of any particular machine altered, often by simply plugging in a USB thumb drive and quickly loading a small, self-erasing program. Something that can eliminate or change every fourth or fifth vote and then conveniently delete itself the moment polls close.

In Connecticut, we vote on paper ballots. These ballots are your actual vote. After you fill in the little bubbles on the page, you walk over to the optical tabulator, which then reads and logs the vote. The ballots are stored until well after the election results are final. Former Sec. of State Susan Bysiewicz helped bring this new kind of voting to Connecticut, and retired all those old mechanical voting machines.

(I DO miss the satisfying "ka-CHUNK" noise the machine made when you move the big red lever back to record your vote and open the curtains!)

A video about the new machines I made back in 2006:

A minimum percentage of electronic tabulators are selected for a post-election audit. That means a non-partisan group of counters will manually tally the paper ballots and match those results with those of the machine. If there's any discrepancy, it may trigger a larger audit, and in theoretical cases, may cause the entire election to have a manual recount.

When people in states vote on an electronic voting machine, there's zero paper trail to see if their votes were accurately counted.

You can see how easy it would be to alter the results of a swing state if someone got inside those machines. Allegations of such things have been made since 2004, when Ohio inexplicably went to Bush instead of Kerry.

I'd like to see a push for having every state go back to paper ballots, with electronic counting and enforced audits. We owe it to ourselves to do so.

CT News Junkie has a current article about how Connecticut's elections are safeguarded against "rigging". See it HERE.

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