The following to Colorado Senators and the Secretary of State are comments in [brackets] by Harvie Branscomb on texts extracted from a memo signed by Secretary of State Wayne W. Williams concerning HB 15-1130.
Recommend lay over the consideration of House and Senate versions of Senator Hill’s HB15- 1130 until after Sine Die.
The Honorable Secretary of State Williams
Colorado Department of State
1700 Broadway, Suite 200
Denver, CO 80290
Dear Secretary Williams:
We have received a copy of the letter you sent to Representatives Ryden and Nordberg and Senators Hill and Garcia regarding amendments to HB-1130. We thank you for your leadership in doing everything in your power to make sure all military and overseas
voters get a chance to cast a ballot.
We are concerned however about your opposition to L.036 which would prohibit online ballot marking. Your comments regarding scanning and emailing back a marked ballot
sends the wrong message and we worry that you may have been given technically faulty
advice. In your letter you state:
“The state uses an innovative application from Everyone Counts that allows UOCAVA voters to specifically access their ballot online, mark it
and print it out to verify their selections. The concern that the system is hackable is a nonstarter because the voter must still print it, sign it, scan it, and send it back to the clerk’s office.”
Why on earth can’t Democrats be honest here and say what is really wrong and why this bill went back to committee? It would have been adequate to blame the Rs for rushing the bill in the Senate but then acknowledge good reasons for backtracking. Instead pure establishment propaganda. Why? No wonder voters are unhappy with the parties. Both parties.
Comments added inline in [CAPS] below by Harvie Branscomb.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2015
Jessica Bralish, Communications Director
At stake: The right to vote in every election for overseas military personnel
DENVER — In a rare procedural move, the Senate Republicans re-sent a bill on military voting rights back to committee. The bill (HB 15-1130) ensures that overseas military personnel and overseas citizens can exercise their right to vote in every election.
[NO, IT DOESN’T – FAR TOO MANY CRUCIAL PROCEDURAL ELEMENTS OMITTED AND THE SECRETARY OF STATE DOES NOT WRITE RULES FOR THESE MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.]
It’s not so disappointing that HB1130 is so poorly crafted or that the legislature doesn’t have time to notice.
Or that the bill is advertised to be supportive of military even though that seems to be at best a poorly executed side effect.
That is normal at COleg.
What is really devastating for citizens watching and attempting to interact from the outside of this system is that no matter how crucial the omissions and flaws are and how hard we work to point them out or even to write better language, insiders defend the poor language with seemingly blinded tenacity and appalling lack of consideration for implementation.
I hear reports of influential folk threatening to have the bill pass on thirds without amendment. I am simply aghast at what I hear from Denver.
Its time for Democrats to stop following lockstep the old guard lawyers and lobbyists for non-accountable private associations of elected officials and start paying attention to reality.
Especially when Republicans are not.
Its time to listen to people who do not have a vested interest.
There is nothing more to say and nothing more we could do… third reading locks out the public.
Best to kill this bill and rewrite it to include the full UOCAVA procedures provided for in Title 1-8.3 and also add the SOS oversight.
I would like to see the legislature assist the military to vote responsibly and the towns to count the votes with integrity. This bill doesn’t do it.
Sorry to always be a spoiler. There is no other role available. As hard as it is to be a legislator it is harder to be advising from the outside.
Did the Colorado Senate really vote today for unrestricted internet voting and other unregulated means of electronic return and late mail ballot return of voted ballots for all municipal voters? Yes, the Senate passed HB 15-1130 on second reading without debate.
This while national experts are writing you letters on the riskiness of electronic return of voted ballots.
Dr. David Jefferson is an internationally recognized expert on voting systems and election technology. He has been a pioneer in research at the intersection of computing, the Internet, and elections for 20 years, and has been an advisor to five successive Secretaries of State of California on technology-related issues. His full bio is available from here.
From a security point of view email voting is about the worst form of voting ever proposed. It is easy for many parties to read or modify ballots whilein transit from the voter to election officials. It is also easy to simply block selected ballots from being delivered. Such attacks can be automated to affect a large number of votes, and can be perpetrated remotely, by anyone on Earth, including criminal syndicates, domestic partisans, or foreign intelligence agencies. Neither the voter nor the election officials can detect such attacks, let alone prevent or correct for them. Sending ballots by email is as dumb as taping a $100 bill to a postcard and expecting it to be delivered safely. Basically, it is naïve and irresponsible to send any kind of secure or confidential document by ordinary email.
Note: an expert on electronic voting, Dr. Barbara Simons was appointed to the Board of Advisors of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in 2008. Her full bio can be downloaded from here.
All commercially available systems that allow voters to send their voted ballots over the internet, whether via email or a website, are insecure. Furthermore, there are no standards, and there is zero oversight or testing of internet voting systems by any state or federal agency. Typically, the software that runs the systems is secret, so independent computer security experts are unable to analyze the software for bugs, vulnerability risks, privacy violations, and election rigging malware. By allowing voters to use an insecure and unreliable system, we are making them second class citizens and putting our democracy at risk.
We write today to express our opposition to House Bill 1130, a bill that as amended would expand the practice in Colorado of return of voted ballots by electronic transmission over the Internet. Verified Voting is a national, non-partisan, nonprofit committed to safeguarding democracy in the digital age, with many Colorado supporters. We advocate for voting technology and policies that promote and improve transparency, accessibility, security and auditability in the election process.