Friday, March 03, 2006

Email voting is coming to Colorado and state election director who fostered it is quitting

Just one day after testifying to the Colorado House State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee about how carefully email voting would be managed under SB06-062, state elections director Billy Compton resigned as noted in today's Denver Post story County voting officials boxed in - Voids in 2 state posts add to anxiety over August primaries. Proponents of voting integrity lost that vote after Billy testified twice, and the committee approved email voting 6-5 along party lines.

Despite acknowledging that there are grave problems with security using email voting, Mr. Compton testified his office would be able to safely use email voting. He also testified how one sailor on one ship had not been able to fax his ballot so he had brought forward the plan for email voting. However, it was clear that Mr. Compton had not sought input from military sources as to the need for or how email voting might be implemented or from technical or security experts. The committee also broadened the bill so that email voting can essentially be used by anyone overseas. Presumably they meant to limit it to citizens but Senator McElhany's bill to require proof of citizenship to register to vote was defeated so China, Mexico, and wherever, feel free, Colorado welcomes your votes.

For six years now, that I'm aware of, every time there has been a bad idea for voting, or the Colorado Sec. of State has been approached for information, or to enforce election law or constitutional protections such as a secret ballot, Billy Compton has been the culprit.

Compton and Drew Durham backed Accenture for the non-existent voter registration database that he couldn't get going after four years and, as the article notes, hasn't even gone out on bid yet for a new contractor.

Boulder County bought the Hart Intercivic voting system that Compton's office has now certified for disabled voters. The Hart system couldn't handle ballots fast enough for a polling place election and eliminated a secret ballot. So now Boulder is looking for a whole new voting system but Compton's office simply turned a blind eye to the problems.

So Billy Compton definitely won't be missed but the disasters of his heritage will live on.

Charles E. Corry, Ph.D., F.G.S.A.