Colorado Secretary of State: Ease Up On Voting Security

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It appears that Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler didn’t get the memo about New York’s recent voting machine troubles. The Denver Post reports:

The Colorado Secretary of State’s office is considering changes that would relax security around electronic voting machines, making the already-vulnerable equipment more susceptible to hacking, opponents of the equipment and the draft rules said today… Richard Coolidge, public information officer for Secretary of State Scott Gessler, said the aim is to provide more guidance and clarity to county clerks, thereby creating more uniformity in how rules are applied.

“We’re trying to balance common sense, practical application with security on the other end,” Coolidge said. “We can do that without compromising any security.”

Gessler wants to end “continuous” video surveillance of voting stations, and reduce the number of tamper-proof seals that must be placed on cases holding voting machine components. He also wants to eliminate a requirement that election officials report suspicions of election machine tampering to the secretary of state. Instead, he wants to delegate that authority to county officials, at their behest.

Considering Colorado’s relatively recent voting machine snafus, you’d think Gessler would be inclined to preserve these protective measures, not break them down: In 2006, Colorado voters sued then-Secretary of State Mike Coffman to get him to decertify a number of faulty electronic voting terminals and ballot scanners, the Post reports. Those machines were recertified later, accompanied by a slate of new rules for using each type of machine and ensuring their security.

Perhaps the thinking here is to let local officials have more control over voting and save the state some money in the process. But given the potential problems that could ensue, it seems like the state could be inviting an unnecessary risk.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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