* The information provided below is compiled from various independent organizations working on election defense. US BASE cannot verify the accuracy of all data. Additionally we cannot vet every state or local organization working on election defense. 

 

Connecticut Technology in Use
Verified Voting Foundation

* Note that "Paper Ballot" in the map below typically designates paper ballots counted by an electronic scanning device. 

Click for Verified Voting's interactive map

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Center for American Progress State by State Voting System Report

See State Grade Below
 

Report Excerpt:

"In August 2017, the Center for American Progress released a report entitled “9 Solutions for Securing America’s Elections,” laying out nine vulnerabilities in election infrastructure and solutions to help improve election security in time for the 2018 and 2020 elections. This report builds on that analysis to provide an overview of election security and preparedness in each state, looking specifically at state requirements and practices related to:

1. Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration systems
2. Voter-verified paper ballots
3. Post-election audits that test election results
4. Ballot accounting and reconciliation
5. Return of voted paper absentee ballots
6. Voting machine certification requirements
7. Pre-election logic and accuracy testing

This report provides an overview of state compliance with baseline standards to protect their elections from hacking and machine malfunction. Some experts may contend that additional standards, beyond those mentioned here, should be required of states to improve election security. The chief purpose of this report is to provide information on how states are faring in meeting even the minimum standards necessary to help secure their elections.

It is important to note at the outset that this report is not meant to be comprehen- sive of all practices that touch on issues of election security. We recognize that local jurisdictions sometimes have different or supplemental requirements and proce- dures from those required by the state. However, this report only considers state requirements reflected in statutes and regulations and does not include the more granular—and voluminous—information on more localized practices. Furthermore, this report does not address specific information technology (IT) requirements for voting machine hardware, software, or the design of pre-election testing ballots and system programming. And while we consider some minimum cybersecurity best practices, we do not analyze specific cyberinfrastructure or system programming requirements. These technical standards and protocols deserve analysis by computer scientists and IT professionals who have the necessary expertise to adequately assess the sufficiency of state requirements in those specialized areas."

Connecticut: B

Connecticut adheres to a number of minimum cybersecurity best practices related to voter registration systems and conducts its elections with paper ballots, but its post-election audits lack important criteria. Currently, the number of voting districts included in the state’s audits is tied to a fixed percentage—5 percent—regardless of the margin of victory, while absentee ballots counted at central locations are excluded entirely from the auditing process. In addition, audits may be carried out through electronic automated re-tabulation, which is vulnerable to manipulation by hackers. Connecticut did earn points for its ballot accounting and reconciliation procedures and for prohibiting voters stationed or living overseas from returning voted ballots electronically, a practice that election security experts say is notoriously insecure. In Connecticut, all voted ballots are returned by mail or delivered in person. The state also exercises good practices by requiring that all voting machines be tested to EAC Voluntary Voting System Guidelines before being purchased or used in the state, and by requiring election officials to carry out pre-election logic and accuracy testing on all machines that will be used in an upcoming election.

To improve its overall election security, Connecticut must refine its post-election audits by requiring the number of ballots included in an audit to be tied to a statistically significant number based on the margin of victory between one or more ballot races; ensuring that all ballot types are included in audits; and requiring that all audits be carried out through manual hand count. Given the threat posed by sophisticated nation-states seeking to disrupt U.S. elections, it is imperative that post-election audits test the accuracy of election outcomes and detect any possible manipulation.

Minimum cybersecurity standards for voter registration system: Fair

  • The state’s voter registration system is estimated to be at least 10 years old.

  • The state’s voter registration system provides access control to ensure that only authorized personnel have access to the database.

  • The state’s voter registration system has logging capabilities to track modifications to the database.

  • The state’s voter registration system includes an intrusion detection system that monitors incoming and outgoing traffic for irregularities.

  • The state performs regular vulnerability assessments on its voter registration system.

  • The state has enlisted DHS to help assess and identify potential threats to its voter registration system.

  • The state does not provide cybersecurity training to election officials.

  • While the state has authorized the study of electronic poll books, Secretary of the State Denise W. Merrill has not permitted their use based on product reviews done by the Center for Voting Technology at the University of Connecticut.


Voter-verified paper audit trail: Good

  • Elections are carried out using paper ballots and optical scan machines.


Post-election audits: Mixed

  • The state conducts mandatory post-election audits.

  • The state’s post-election audits may be conducted by manual hand count or electronically through automated re-tabulation.

  • A minimum of 5 percent of voting districts are included in an audit. The precise number of ballot contests to be tested depends on the election. For example, for a presidential election, at least three offices must be audited, including “all offices required to be audited by federal law” plus one additional office randomly selected by the secretary of state. In a municipal election, three offices or 20 percent of the total number of offices on the ballot—whichever is greater—are audited.

  • The voting districts and ballot contests included in the audit are randomly selected.

  • Absentee ballots counted at central locations are not included in audits, while absentee ballots counted at the voting districts are included in audits.

  • An audit can escalate if a discrepancy arises between the initial audit results and preliminary outcome that could affect election results.

  • Audits are open to the public.

  • Audits must be carried out no earlier than 15 days after an election, but no later than two days before election results are certified.

  • If a tabulating error is found to have occurred, another machine would likely be tested.305 If the problem persists, audit results could reverse preliminary outcomes.


Ballot accounting and reconciliation: Fair

  • All ballots are accounted for at the precinct level.

  • Precincts are required to compare and reconcile the number of ballots used and the number of voters who signed into the polling place.

  • Municipalities are required to compare and reconcile precinct totals with countywide results to ensure that they add up to the correct amount.

  • The state does not use a tally server. As such, a memory card review process is unnecessary.

  • The state requires that election results and ballot reconciliation processes and information be made public.

Paper absentee ballots: Fair

  • The state does not permit voters—including UOCAVA voters—to submit completed ballots electronically. All ballots must be returned by mail or delivered in person.

Voting machine certification requirements: Fair

  • Before they may be purchased and used in the state, all voting machines must be certified by the Election Assistance Commission.

  • Some jurisdictions in the state likely still use voting machines that were purchased more than a decade ago.

Pre-election logic and accuracy testing: Fair

  • Election officials conduct mandatory logic and accuracy testing on all voting machines prior to an election.

  • Testing is open to the public.

  • Testing occurs at least 10 days before an election.






 

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