“C” is for Coloradans
We are a group of volunteer Colorado citizens working for integrity in our elections. Non-partisan and non-profit, we rely on objective scientific knowledge and research methods to determine how well the voting methods used in Colorado serve the public interest.
To this end, we belong to a similarly non-partisan and non-profit national election integrity listserve; among its participants are many accomplished experts in computer security and election administration who share scientifically-based information.
“VI” is for Voting Integrity
Elections must be fair, with all eligible electors having an equal opportunity to vote.
Elections must be accurate, so that only eligible voted ballots are counted, and counted as their electors intended.
Election processes must be transparent to allow public oversight of the election-related actions of public employees and private contractors.
All election products must be kept secure from illegal tampering, until there is no more possibility of election challenges.
In their 2012 book, Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?, Douglas W. Jones and Barbara Simons, two election integrity experts knowledgeable about computers and election administration, give this list of bottom line characteristics of good elections in their recent book: auditability, accessibility, accuracy, security, reliability and usability; they add that these goals are not mutually exclusive, but complement each other.
On its “About” page, the organization Verified Voting defines election integrity as including “accuracy, transparency and verifiability of elections,” along with “the reliability and security of voting systems,” and stresses the necessity “that each vote be counted as cast.”
Why CFVI?Back in 2003, CFVI’s founder, Bob McGrath, began seeing Internet reports of large state purchases of unauditable “direct record electronic voting machines” (DREs). The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) made federal funds available to purchase these machines. With DREs, votes are cast electronically on a machine rather than a paper ballot. Vendors of DREs were claiming that software controlling the machines was “proprietary,” so experts could not inspect the software to check the potential for fraud or other inaccuracies. And without votes cast on paper ballots, audits could not check vote counts for accuracy.
His memory still vivid of the 2000 Presidential election irregularities, Bob posted an invitation on MeetUp to find others interested in challenging the unauditable DRE machines. Eight people responded; they met at a coffee shop on East Colfax in Denver, and Coloradans for Voting Integrity was formed.
Since that time, Colorado’s voting methods have changed, and so have the ways the integrity of our elections are threatened. And we continue to take aim at our state’s risk-taking with voting integrity.
What We Do
We educate, bringing information on weaknesses of current state election systems to the attention of public officials, the public, and the media.
As “volunteer lobbyists,” we promote voting integrity in legislation, by testifying before legislative committees or contributing to legislation.
We sometimes serve during elections as watchers, election judges or canvass board members.
A Recent Action
Our calendar tells us it is SPRING! In a normal year, the Colorado General Assembly would have just passed the halfway mark of its 2020 legislative session. Instead it has closed for at least two weeks because of the threat of the novel coronavirus, and so the legislature’s usual January to May schedule has changed in a way that is not yet clear.
Our proposed “Recent Action” is to try to pass a bill in the Legislature that rids our state election system of the use of Internet voting (which includes the return of voted ballots by email or fax, or Internet portal).
We have lived with Colorado’s official tolerance of Internet voting for over a decade now, and are eager to see it gone. It is a voting practice that has long been proven to be insecure, and puts its military and overseas users in a uniquely vulnerable position of having their votes easily tampered with.
We were sufficiently impressed with the message of a report written by computer experts, called Email and Internet Voting: The Overlooked Threat to Election Security, www.commoncause.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/ElectionSecurityReport.pdf to resolve to put its recommendations into improvements in Colorado’s elections.