Thursday, January 10, 2008

Voting Rights CSOS interview with Ken Hajjar of LHS Associates.
Total Running Time: 29:40

We turn to the recount of Connecticut’s Second Congressional District once again with part two in our ongoing investigation into voting machine security at towns using the AccuVote Optical Scan machines made by Diebold. The machines were used in 25 towns, ten of which were in the Second District where Democrat Joe Courtney beat incumbent Rob Simmons by a mere 91 votes.

An audit of some of the towns using the optical scan voting machines for the first time revealed differences in the results of as many as six votes in Hartford. If all of the towns in the state had used the machines and all had six vote variations the election results could have been off by as much as 1014 votes. The discrepancies were caused by either voter error or changes made as a result of having poll workers look at the votes with their own eyes.

(Look for upcoming reports on the Audit. We spoke with the Republican registrars in Hartford where a city official race was found to have a six vote varietion. In the high profile race for the Senate Democrat Ned Lamont had a three vote variation and Independent joe lieberman had a one vote variation. Other variations found in the results were also in the single digits.)

Connecticut officials have already purchased the AccuVote Optical Scan machines manufactured by Diebold and provided by LHS Associates in Methuen, Massachusetts. Voting rights groups have expressed satisfaction that a paper ballot is created by the AccuVote machines. But True Vote Connecticut for example, notes the need for more clear and up to date protocols from the Secretary of State’s office for voting officials in cities and towns who will be the final line of defense against voter fraud.

You can find True Vote Connecticut at and you can find part one of this investigation online at

The first general election using the new Diebold optical scan machines resulted in 39 recounts and a field day for bloggers. For many poll workers and voting officials who had to carry out the recounts however it was an exhausting and often frustrating process.

Problems at the polls in 2007 suggest the way forward for more updates to voting machine security protocols and protections for voters. The DSOS makes statements here that relate to both the 2006 and 2007 election.

In New Hartford, CT a result was changed after the recount. A Democrat, Thomas Klebart gained only one vote to beat Republican Roy Litchfield for a seat on the Board of Finance. It wasn't a voting machine problem, however, we have been trying to obtain some numbers on memory card failures and when I asked New Hartford Town Clerk Donna Laplant about that topic she said there were some glitches. We are tracking memory card failures..

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