No presentation for this one. It's online petitions. It will be online for the public "soon," Carr says. "It's pretty much ready now."
Carr: Denver has been hired to try and break it, to test the security. "We have done everything we can to test it but a brute force attack from people who know how to attack systems is the last step."
Idk how helpful it will be to tweet Carr's walk-through of the system. You can just read this.…
You can read petitions without logging into the system. Which is important bc it's an Official Process that will require name, birthdate and Voter ID number, plus a phone number on record with the county clerk.
Without logging in, you'll also be able to see "how a petition is doing" — number of required signatures, signees so far, who has signed, who is sponsoring.
Fun fact: There are 3 voters in the city of Boulder who don't have first names.
They'll still be able to use this, though. That's thoughtful.
If you enter something incorrectly, it pops up an error message and sends you to the Secretary of State's page to update your info. It will take a couple days to reflect the changes in Boulder's system.
The city of Boulder will get a read-only file from the Boulder County clerk and recorder every day with voter info. But it takes a couple days to get from the SOS to BoCo then to Boulder.
Carr not using his real info in the demo, for obvious reasons.
The verification is a text or voicemail to your phone number. Again, you have to have one on record.

I don't think I do, bc I didn't get one of those "your ballot was mailed!" messages everybody else did.
This is an issue critics have had: They don't want their phone numbers to be public record (as voter info is)
OK so the Channel 8 livestream is STILL not working, but you can watch live on YouTube.
Friend: Do we want to pause? Would we normally proceed and assume people find their way?
Weaver: I think we should proceed and be very clear about how ppl can access this recording. Channel 8 goes out periodically and even when it's up, you can't be sure it will stay up.
Well that's good news. It goes out all the time. A+ for transparency!
Back to the demo: If your physical address isn't accurate in the system, it will kick you out until you can change it.
Carr addressing the phone number issue: The secretary of state is required to give anybody who asks that public info. "There is that concern that political parties will have your phone number just like they have your address now."
But you can get a free phone number for Google Voice.

I should do that for Boulder Beat. I get WAY too many spam calls.
Not sure that Google having your phone number is any better than the gov't having it, but, let's be real, they already do.
Carr: "We set up the system so you can't un-endorse."
Here's why: You can't do that with paper. Some people do come in and demand the clerk remove their signature. "It's rare and difficult."
Second, Carr says, it could encourage unscrupulous behavior. Getting 500 of your friends to sign something you don't actually support, then once it gets the signatures and closes, you un-endorse and doom that measure.
Another issue for critics: You have to use one or the other (paper or online). You can't collect both, due to staff time involved in verifying.
Carr: In my opinion, I think more people will use the online system because it's so much easier.

Again, charter amendments can't use the online system. That would have knocked out two items this year: Bedrooms Are For People and Our Mayor, Our Choice
Of course, only one of those on the ballot this year.
Weaver: It's pretty concerning that state law says the SOS has to give out a phone number on a voter's record.
"We wanna change that state law," he says.
Carr: The things they exclude from being given out are email addresses, DOB, social security number, driver's license number.
Weaver: That's got to be changed.
Brockett: One of the failure points in systems like this is the nightly exchange of files. They can fail silently. What's our system for checking that the syncing of info is happening?
Vani Katta, project lead, fielding this one: BoCo makes it available at 4 a.m. City pulls out Boulder residents .... then some tech words I didn't understand. Takes about an hour.
Brockett: It could fail on the city side or county side. What's our failsafe?
Katta: We'll have a few alerts going. If there's issues sending the file or retrieving. And we'll look at differences in the two files —if someone hacked it, changed it, removed voters, added them, etc.
Brockett (who is in software or tech or something similar) is reassured.
I hate having to reveal my ignorance on these issues since this is what so many of you do.
Petitions will be translated into Spanish. Yay!
Swetlik: Rather than changing state law, why didn't we go with email addresses rather than phone numbers?
Katta: Email is one of the confidential pieces of data that BoCo won't share with us.
Carr: We had to use info that BoCo would give to us.
Friend: What were the other options?
Carr: We talked about driver's license number but they wouldn't give us that either. I think the only option was phone.
Weaver: I bet the county clerk's were limited by that state law.
Weaver: "I'd be v afraid using email addresses bc there are lots more folks who don't have email addresses than don't have phones. There's always going to be a hole in systems like this."
But he understands concerns. Phone number is personally identifying. Who is going to want to share that? he asks.
Swetlik: If state law changes, can we then not use phone numbers for our verification?
Carr: We'd want to make sure they craft an exemption for home rule cities using online databases.
Boulder is the only one doing that. Denver kinda does, but they are a city AND a county, so it's not the same.

Carr: "There's nobody else doing this. ... There's no provision in the state to give this data to the city."
Carr apparently teaching me how to find my Voter ID number, by signing in to the SOS. Thanks, Tom!
Weaver: If someone doesn't have a phone number on record, and they enter it into the SOS, when does that come to the county level?
Carr: 48-72 hours
Apparently that wasn't Weaver's q, but I don't understand what the actual question was.

We'll see if Friend's rephrasing is more clear.
It wasn't. Sorry I'm losing the thread here.
Swetlik: The whole phone number thing is sort of a farce. You're not presenting your own phone number, necessarily. It's just a way to get to you.
Carr objects to that. We're trying to ID that the person signing is the person they say they are. You need a lot of info to use the SOS system. Info only you should have. They're doing the validating; we're using the info they give us.
Swetlik: The phone number itself doesn't have to be yours.
Carr: Exactly. It can be any phone number you have access two.
Swetlik: Why didn't we use mailed postcards to voters, since addresses are on record?
Carr: They're not secure, and the mail system, since March, has degenerated. We can't say when they'd get there. We couldn't guarantee 48-72 hours.
"We want only the person who should have the code to have the code. Printing it on a piece of cardboard that anybody could see defeats that purpose." Security consultant recommended against it.
Should note the postcard idea was Steve Pomerance's / other members of the election working group.
We have our first sigh from Wallach!
Wallach sigh-o-meter: 1
He asked why it's so hard to accept both paper and online signatures.
Carr again going over the work it takes staff to verify signatures, and saying it puts us back where we are today.
Wallach: I imagine there is some portion of the electorate who won't use the online system. "I would not want it to be something that actually surpasses participation rather than fosters it."
Weaver saying what Carr said earlier: You can still have people in person to explain the petitions, just like with paper, and they would walk you through the online system using a cell phone or tablet or computer.
Assuming all the voter's info is correct and on file, you could theoretically sign same-day. But, as Wallach says, it sounds slow.
Weaver: "For me, I think this is a good place to start. ... I think we should go ahead and go forward with this."
Brockett: "It's path-breaking here, to some extent, so it's something to be proud of. ... In general, I think it's going to be a big accessibility step for direct democracy."
Maybe it will change how people petitions, he says. Grocery store parking lots might not make sense anymore; maybe you hold a meeting at the library and walk a whole group through it.
Swetlik: "This is progress in a way, for sure."
Wallach: "It's potentially problematic" to have two separate systems for charter amendments and every other initiative. He's OK with it, but wants to make sure it's not "exclusionary" for people who aren't comfortable with the new system.
Swetlik: "It's a pretty big step to ask" that people create a separate phone number through Google Voice or somewhere if they don't want theirs to be public record. How are we going to help folks with that, he asks.
Swetlik: It may even be worth stating explicitly that if you put your phone in the database, it's publicly accessible.
Carr: On the front page, we have direct links to SOS, city elections website, etc. We can put all this info there.
Ordinance to OK this will be before council in a few weeks, along with a public hearing. Stay tuned!

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