Seth Woolley's Blog

Occasional Musings

Tue May 24 10:43:18 2011 -- position on or 2011 hb3074

position on or 2011 hb3074(0)

Update 2012-04-21:

I was wrong on this.  See the original Open Letter for the full update.

Trout simply made the processes secret.  I apologize for ever supporting Trout.

Original:

I updated my blog post with an open letter questioning Trout's hiring as director of elections:

After a couple years of dealing with Mr. Trout, the concerns mentioned in the below letter have been addressed and it is my belief that Trout administers state elections with integrity.  Paperless elections are indeed controversial, but Trout now works in a full paper ballot, auditable election system as an administrator under a progressive official.  In multiple opportunities I have had to interact with Trout, he has listened to concerns and not stonewalled as Bev Harris accused. In essence, the information that may be found online isn't as accurate as it may seem.

I suggest that people give Trout the benefit of the doubt and deal with him on a direct level before coming to their own conclusions and not jump to conclusions based upon hearsay.

HB3074 (2011) has been introduced that would enable electronic voting for what HAVA calls long-term absentee voters, intended to enfranchise military service members.  The current system of facsimile voting is flawed beyond belief and it needs updating.  By allowing the use of e-mail, better, more secure, more open technology can be enacted by rule.

The rules will be developed with the Department of Defense and election security experts.  It was interpreted by some that the statute changes don't address the trust issues that electronic voting has brought up since the 2000 election.  By deferring to rule-making process, in fact, I believe it does.  The worst elements of HAVA are where it went too far and added verbage that handcuffed the technical experts to make rules with more insight than the details of the statute, rendering them unable to complete its intent and vision.  HB3074 is actually well-written in my view and deserves support rather than opposition, to help lead us to better, more secure, more accessible voting, electronic or otherwise, in the future, where, I hope we can have open, paper-backed, cryptographically secure elections for everybody.

By attacking Trout personally rather than the issues of the bill, the bill's detractors have unfortunately gone down the wrong path.

I suggest they work with rather than in opposition to the elections division in formulating a better bill.  Perhaps during rule-making their complete concerns can be addressed under the stated intent of the statute, the spirit in which the bill was offered, and what testimony for or against it parameterized the goals of the Oregon community.

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