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Connecticut RFP calls for electronic PAPERLESS systems--act NOW!

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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:44 PM
Original message
Connecticut RFP calls for electronic PAPERLESS systems--act NOW!
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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
1. I'm not wild about opti-scan machines...
Evidence of opti-scan fraud in the 2004 election is growing and growing. What good is an opti-scan machine, if it requires the court order of a Republican judge to examine or to hand count the votes?
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 07:49 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. I know! We have them here in Minnesota and THEY CAN BE RIGGED!
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 08:14 PM by Carolab
In fact, in Ohio, "problems" abounded in optically scanned ballot machines! We need to complain to Dodd--he was one of them who stood up with Boxer!!!

http://www.senate.gov/~dodd/webmail/index.html
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Dcitizen Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 04:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
22. Any links about MN, OH
Edited on Sun Jan-09-05 04:57 PM by Dcitizen
I spent hours to review documents

4.6.5. Hardware Requirements.
System shall be capable of printing a receipt should it ever be required to do so.
Vendor must explain how such receipt may be retained by the equipment and not retained by the voter.
System shall produce, at the time the voter votes his or her ballot or at the time the polls are closed, a paper version or representation of the voted ballot or of all the ballots cast on a unit of the voting system in accordance with Federal law and Connecticut Statutes and Regulations. The paper version
shall not be provided to the voter but shall be retained with the election returns.

4.6. Equipment Features I N R
Programmable memory device to be sealed in unit with means of tamper
detection. Allow for extraction of data from memory devices.
Prevent modification of the voter's vote after the ballot is cast.

But few security issues are still openned.

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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
25. The law can require a percent to be hand-counted on Election Night .
Optical-scan ballots are the best, except for total hand-counts.

The lines move quickly because it's inexpensive to setup lots of polling booths.

And people check their optical-scan ballots, unlike with electronic voting which print paper ballots behind glass.

Please tell your state reps. to get optical-scan ballots instead of electronic voting machines.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:14 PM
Response to Original message
3. kick
I wrote to Dodd--anyone else want to join me?
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bush_is_wacko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. It looks to me as if this is asking to go to opti-scan voting
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 08:22 PM by bush_is_wacko
this is also a paperless form of voting isn't it? I agree with the other poster I am NOT a fan of paperless voting MACHINES. All machines can be manipulated, but I would ONLY go for a machine that prints a receipt verifying your vote AND the opportunity to change that vote IMMEDIATELY at the polls in the event your vote is not registered correctly.
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Yes, it is! And YES that IS a problem!
That's why you should write your OWN message in the text box and tell them to use hand-counted paper ballots. Read this link below and incorporate some of this when writing to Dodd:

http://www.votersunite.org/takeaction/handcounted.asp
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bush_is_wacko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
13. I saw your other thread an took action. Sorry, I have been working on
crap all day and am really tired. I am signing off for as long as I can stay away. No promises to myself or anyone else. I seem to be incapable of walking away from here some times.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #4
17. The paper receipt ALSO needs to be given first priority in a recount!
How they get around paper receipts, and keep the system fraud prone and manipulable, is by giving people a paper receipt--so the voter thinks that's something, they can't cheat--but then, if there is a recount, the ELECTRONIC total take precedence over the paper receipt. We really should name it a paper BALLOT, and include in laws that, if there is a recount, the paper BALLOT takes precedence.

There are many, many perils in electronic voting. Another is the central electronic vote tabulation machines, which operate on secret, proprietary source code (owned by BushCon companies). I've begunt to think that there really is not remedy but old fashioned paper ballots and hand counts. At least you can SEE it. It doesn't disappear at the speed of light. In Germany, they put all the ballots into a GLASS container which is guarded until the counting. They also do Exit Polls as a check on fraud.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Can you post his address please? n/t
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Right here!
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. thanks! n/t
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thanatonautos Donating Member (282 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
19. Done.
Dear Senator Dodd:

I understand that Connecticut is considering making a move to computerized
optiscan voting machines, and that for the most part, Connecticut presently
uses lever based mechanical voting machines, like my home State of New York.

Please consider very carefully the disadvantages in such a course of action.

The mechanical lever machines, by virtue of their size, and the consequent
ability to physically secure them, were arguably more resistant to tampering
than current high technology approaches to voting are.

Numerous questions have in fact arisen in the current election cycle as to the
security of opti-scan machines.

An opti-scan machine is in fact, in principle more susceptible to very hard to
detect forms of tampering by virtue of the electronic nature of its vote
counting mechanism.

Furthermore, an auditable voting machine is no better than an unauditable one,
if in fact, no audits are ever carried out.

Secretary of State Bysiewicz's point that historically, most problems have
occurred with paper based ballot systems where officials had to `interpret'
the intent of voters is misguided, in my view.

It is a red herring to suggest that the major problems have been with paper
based systems such as human un-readable punch card based systems, which
produced the famous hanging, pregnant and other types of chads in Florida in
2000. It's clear that paper punch card ballots are inferior ... but it is not
clear that hand counted mark sense ballots are inferior to any other voting
technology. And paper mark sense ballots have an inherent auditable paper
trail.

There are many advantages to using mark sense paper ballots ... paper is a
write once system, which preserves for a long time the marks made by the
voter. There is much information contained in those marks, which is not
reliably preserved by any other system I am aware of. This is why we place a
relatively high level of trust in a person's signature.

The problem that humans must on occasion interpret the marks that voters make
is not ameliorated by saying that machines make an `objective decision' about
what constitutes a vote. Studies have in fact shown that hand counted paper
ballots have very low rates of under and overvoting.

Please consider reverting Conneticut to a system which is in fact superior,
rather than introducing a more vulnerable system for the sake of appearing to
have the latest and best technological solution.

Above all, do not consider introducing even an auditable electronic system
without making explicit provision for that system to be audited independently
and on a regular basis.

Sincerely,

xxxx xxxxx
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Jimdish25 Donating Member (128 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:06 PM
Response to Original message
9. Try The Elections Division or SOS Susan Bysiewicz
My God! Democrats control the legislature here and we are heading into the black hole! And she wants to be Governor...

Try these links:

lead@po.state.ct.us

info@bysiewicz.org
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
10. Excuse me!
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 09:37 PM by Bill Bored
Thanks for the heads up, but Dodd isn't the only one you need write to! CT residents need to write to their state reps and Governor to fix this. I trust that verifiedvoting.org has the correct contact information, but just in case they don't, check it in google or at www.congress.org which has links to state and local representatives.

I'm telling my friends in CT to do this as well. They have mostly lever machines now, which are pretty much unhackable.

Here's a sample letter you can use if you want, or edit it. And please post it on the CT forum:

Dear Governor, State Sen., State Assembly, etc:

It is a little-known fact that in many states in our nation, the vote
has become unverifiable. It has been privatized and computerized without
the necessary paper records and random auditing procedures by which it
can be verified. Computer source code cannot be inspected at the time of
the election and computer security can be lax or nonexistent, allowing
manipulation of the vote data and the counting process itself.
Connections to central tabulators are made via potentially insecure
modem lines or the Internet, adding another point at which tampering can
occur to affect election outcomes in real-time. Altering only a handful
of votes per precinct can change the outcome of a close election. How
could this possibly be detected without the proper safeguards?

Boards of election, however well intentioned, do not have the requisite
knowledge, staff and experience to manage large scale distributed
computer networks.

In addition to being prone to outright fraud and manipulation
(deliberately not counting votes in accordance with the intent of the
voters), touch screen voting machines (also known as DREs) can be
programmed to "default" to certain candidates, to prohibit voting for
straight-party tickets, or to vote for a certain candidate or issue in
lieu of an undervote or overvote. And any or all of these can be
programmed to occur ONLY on the day of an election, making them
undetectable during the pre-certification process.

Most of these problems have actually been documented in the 2004
election, prompting widespread allegations of negligence, fraud and
malfeasance, the first congressional challenge to a state's electoral
vote for president since 1877, and the undermining of the electorate's
confidence in our voting system which is the very core of our
democracy. You can view the incident reports (which are probably only
a subset of the actual incidents that occurred) from the Research Maps at:

https://www.voteprotect.org /

Do you really want to go down this road in CT?

To avoid these problems in our state, if we replace our mechanical lever
voting machines, I want CT law to require paper ballots
marked by hand, and random audits of these ballots to verify the vote count.

Paper ballots can be counted by hand or optical scanners and provide a
permanent, auditable record of the vote. It is easy for voters to use
paper ballots, and our Boards of Election know how to safeguard and
handle them.

To fulfill HAVA accessibility requirements, voters with all disabilities
can use a ballot-marking device, such as the Automark, and still vote on
the same paper ballots as everyone else. Another alternative is the use
of ballot templates, which are inexpensive and work well in Rhode Island
and in other countries.

I don't want to cast my vote on a computer. And elections are not just
about my vote, they are about the will of the people - all voters.
Computers do not allow the public oversight that throughout history has
been the only way to ensure election integrity. I don't care whether the
computer makes mistakes due to innocent or malicious errors. The problem
is that no one can observe what is going on inside the computer, and
that opens the door to undetectable errors and the potential for fraud.

Optical scanners are useful for the counting of paper ballots, but they
are still computers, and their use opens the possibility for software
defects, malicious code, or back door data manipulation, all of which
could affect the results of our elections. While I support the use of
optical scanners to count paper ballots, before they are used we need
the following protections put into law:

(1) All software used in electronic voting and ballot tabulation
equipment must be freely available for public examination.

(2) Wireless communication devices in voting and tabulating equipment
must be banned. Such devices allow malicious individuals or
organizations to access and modify the software and tallies in the
tabulating equipment.

(3) Specify standards, procedures, and time-frames to guarantee voters
and candidates the right to petition for and obtain manual recounts
before certification of the winner of an election.

(4) Conduct mandatory random recounts of at least 5% of precincts.

(5) A citizen's advisory committee, which shall include election
officials, representatives of the disabled community, and independent
computer professionals without ties to voting machine vendors, shall
make recommendations for the choice of voting system for CT.

Sincerely yours,

Edited for spelling a few times!
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:15 PM
Response to Original message
11. But it's not all bad news.
On pg. 52 (p. 64 of the pdf, at http://www.das.state.ct.us/rfpdoc/0004_0401.pdf --I hope I typed in the URL correctly):
4.5.2.3.8 Verified Voter Paper Receipt -- Verified Paper Audit Trail

"The Vendor must include a provision to install a Voter Verified Paper Receipt and/or a Verified Paper Audit Trait (VVPR-VPAT) that meets all Federal and State Certification, at no additional cost to the State, Town or City, to every DRE machine pruchased as a result of this RFP, should such be required by the Federal Government or the State of Connecticut."

In other words, under those conditions getting the state to legislate such a requirement should be relatively cost-free, and easy to achieve.
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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Sure but you need the STATE to DO IT!
I don't know what laws or bills they have pending in CT. See the above letter I'm using in NY. Thanks.
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Dcitizen Donating Member (212 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:47 PM
Response to Original message
14. Sharp your pens, all CT papers list
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 11:56 PM by Dcitizen
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sepia_steel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
15. Done. and kick
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Carolab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:43 AM
Response to Original message
16. .
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 03:04 AM
Response to Original message
18. KICK!
This is very, very, very important! Thanks for the thread!
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proud_Kucitizen Donating Member (191 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
20. Done
even though I am not from Connecticut.
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AtLiberty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
21. I heard that we're the ONLY country which has electronic voting...
...is this true?

WHAT IS SO DAMN HARD ABOUT HAND-COUNTING?
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lynne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. The US is one of about 17 countries
that has some sort of e-voting. The list includes Canada, the UK, Australia, and India amongst others. Info here http://focus.at.org/e-voting/countries

IMO, E-voting needs to be fixed - not done away with. If we went to all paper, vote fraud via ballot theft, destruction, and/or damage would be much easier to accomplish.

There will never be a perfect method but I think that e-voting with a paper trail would give us the ease and speed of technology along with an auditable trail to use if needed.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:10 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. If we went all paper, with transparent ballot boxes and
ballots counted in front of the public on Election Night at the polling place, election fraud would be 1000 times more difficult than it is now.
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newscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 05:05 PM
Response to Original message
23. Done! n/t
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