Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Online voter registration is not ready.

It would be interesting to learn the factual basis for the Denver Post's support of online voter registration, see Online voter registration is a move to 21st century.
  1. Has the Post investigated the HAVA complaint charging five violations of HAVA by the SCORE voter registration system? It would be interesting to learn the findings.
  2. Has the Post learned of some new technology that enables election officials to know who is actually logged onto the computer that is using an identity to create or change a voter registration record? If not, what assurance is there that voter registration records are not being fabricated?
  3. Has the Post studied the effectiveness of the Arizona and Washington online voter registration systems? If so, how many ineligible, fabricated, inaccurate, and out of date voter registration records exist in these databases?
  4. Has the Post discussed the topic with Colorado's private sector technical experts? If so, it would be interesting to learn the technical arguments for and against online voter registration.

The HB 1160 scheme for online voter registration is predicated on hope rather than fact. There are no studies. There has been no public technical debate. Tough questions are simply ignored.

The purpose of voter registration is to create a secure and accurate record that can be used to (1) verify that a person is who they claim to be, and (2) verify that the person is eligible to vote in a particular election.

I have personal experience with the Secretary of State's self-supervision and I assure you that it is not working. The SOS is not motivated to disclose or even discover its problems. To explicitly exclude independent testing (and independent oversight) would be a disaster.

The enthusiasm for the so-called "digital signature" is misplaced. Just because somebody has possession of a set of credentials does not mean that the person using the credentials is the person to whom the credentials belong.

The enthusiasm for an "airtight system", ensured by state election officials, is also misplaced. the CIA, credit card companies, even the IRS have not successfully discovered such a system, What makes anybody think that Colorado can do so?

Let's stabilize Colorado's voter registration system and fix its known problems before adding disruptive and unscientifically proven online voter registration.

No comments: