Dear Senator Heath:
It is my understanding that the State, Veterans & Military Affairs committee will take up HB 1116 on Monday afternoon.
In your position as Chair of the committee, and as a fellow Boulder County resident, you are in a position to give serious consideration to and recommend adoption of the following proposal to amend HB 1116.
To earn voter confidence, it is vital that Logic and Accuracy Test members be chosen independently of election officials.
Please amend HB 1116 to something like the following:
1-7-509. Electronic and electromechanical vote counting - testing of equipment required.The key objective of the amendment is to make sure that county-wide elections are supported by party appointed testers, and that other elections are supported by governing boards of the districts.
(1)(c)(I) For all partisan elections, the County major Political Party Chairs shall appoint to a Testing Board an equal number of one or more registered electors. The number of members of the Testing Board shall be determined by the county clerk and recorder.
(II) For nonpartisan elections that are coordinated elections, the County major Political Party Chairs shall appoint to a Testing Board an equal number of one or more registered electors. The number of members of the Testing Board shall be determined by the county clerk and recorder. In addition, each participating Governing Board will recommend to the designated election official one or more Testing Board members, and the designated election official will choose from among these recommended testers no fewer than one and no more than half of the number allocated to the political parties.
(III) For nonpartisan elections that are not coordinated elections, a Testing Board will be appointed with the number of members determined by the designated election official. Each participating Governing Board will recommend to the designated election official one or more Testing Board members, and the designated election official will choose from among these recommended testers no fewer than two and will attempt to evenly distribute the Testing Board members across the districts.
We hope the law will maximize independence and minimize official control over the verification that the election system is ready to conduct a fair and accurate election.
As you may recall, Boulder County has had embarrassing problems during the last few elections. Many of these problems could have been avoided by an independent (and system wide) LAT.
The current language proposed in HB 1116, Section 15 removes the party affiliation requirements for judges who perform logic and accuracy testing on electronic voting equipment if the election for which the equipment is being tested is a nonpartisan election.
SECTION 15. 1-7-509 (1) (c), Colorado Revised Statutes, is amended to read:In the first place, why should the clerk select the testing board members for PARTISAN elections? Each Major Political Party Chair should select the person(s) that they feel confident will best perform this highly technical duty. This paragraph should be revised by an amendment that assigns to the County Political Party Chair the appointment of the person or persons that will participate in the design and execution of the LAT.
1-7-509. Electronic and electromechanical vote counting - testing of equipment required.
(1) (c) (I) FOR ALL PARTISAN ELECTIONS, the designated election official shall select a testing board comprising at least two persons, one from each major political party, from the list provided by the major political parties pursuant to section 1-6-102.
(II) FOR ALL NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS, THE DESIGNATED ELECTION OFFICIAL SHALL SELECT A TESTING BOARD COMPRISING AT LEAST TWO PERSONS WHO ARE REGISTERED ELECTORS.
Secondly, why should the clerk select the testing board members for NONPARTISAN elections? Again, the major political party chairs should each make at least one appointment. They have experience, and are a stable element of the community. In addition, each of the participating districts should submit a candidate for LAT tester, and the Clerk can choose among the appointees of the special districts.
Some Colorado County Clerks are guilty of restricting LAT test cases to things that the clerk has pre-tested before the test. For example, only a blue or black pen may be used to mark LAT ballots. In so doing, Clerks wind up serving as surrogates for the vendors. They use these unfair testing procedures to cover up defects in the equipment and procedures.
• Clerks won’t permit testers to use “realistic marks” on the test ballots.Even more egregious, but probably not fixable in HB 1116, the LAT itself is flawed in that it does not test the entire path.
• Clerks won’t permit the “expected results” to be hidden from the people running the equipment and performing the ballot resolution function.
• Clerks won’t permit testers to address many of the election procedures required by law, including compliance with “conditional certification requirements”.
• Currently, there is no testing to verify that signature verifiers are able to detect forgery.Sadly, the LAT has devolved into an ineffective drama designed to generate false confidence. Most of the defects discovered in recent elections should have and would have been detected by a fair public testing process.
• Currently, there is no testing to verify that procedures are followed.
• Currently, there is no testing to verify that batch controls work, and that the election can be accurately canvassed..
• Currently, there is no testing to verify that election reports comply with the law.
Eventually, the Legislature must ensure that pre-election testing will verify that (1) every eligible voter will be given an opportunity to vote once, (2) every eligible vote will be correctly counted once, and that (3) every aspect of the election (with the exception of where a voter’s SSN would be made public, or a connection between the voter and the voted ballot would be exposed) will be fully transparent and independently verifiable.
It is reckless for the clerks to select the LAT teams.
Please amend the bill as recommended in the opening language above.
Elections will be better, and more trustworthy.
Colorado Voter Group
2867 Tincup Circle
Boulder CO, 80305
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