Making Democracy Work

S Michael DeRosa

GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE FOR CT SECRETARY OF THE STATE

S Michael DeRosa

Website - Facebook

LWVCT - If elected, what will you do to strengthen voting security, and will you advocate for more funding for that effort?
MD - In 2005 the Green Party and me lead the successful campaign to pass a law that required the use of paper ballots in CT. We established a group called VOTER that established this law. It took us two sessions to pass the law because of opposition from Sen Chris Todd and SOTS Susan Bysiewicz. At my behest I was able to get Rebecca Mercuri, the inventor of the Voter Verifiable Paper Trail System, to testify to the legislature about this voting system. Her Ph.D. thesis was on this subject and her testimony convinced most members of the legislature to finally vote for this important safeguard to voting security. Recently the audit after the election has been reduced to 5%. This is not a statistically significant number according to Ms Mercuri. If I am elected I will support evidence based safeguards that will guarantee complete trust in our election system.

LWVCT - What if anything, will you do to make Connecticut a more business-friendly state?
MD - I will put forward proposals to create a sustainable economy based on real economic development and not based on Military Keynesianism(i.e. government should increase military spending in order to increase jobs). A recent study indicates that spending a billion dollars on weapons of mass or individual destruction creates less than 8000 jobs. Spending a billion dollars on education, health care, or the environment creates between 16,000 to 25,000 new jobs. The Green Party and me have put in legislation to our legislature to establish a CT State Bank. There is real evidence (The North Dakota State Bank Established 1919) that such a bank would save billions of dollars. If we spend a billion dollars on a capital project the interest tacked on by Wall Street will double or triple our cost. With a State Bank there will be no interest and the money saved will be returned to Main Street.

LWVCT - As of January 2018, 34 states plus the District of Columbia permit some form of no-excuse-needed early voting; 3 additional states conduct elections exclusively by mail. Do you support either in-person early voting or expanded use of absentee-ballot (mail-in) voting?
MD - Election day should be a CT State holiday. Early voting is a good idea but needs a Connecticut Constitutional change. I would support a no-excuse early voting system using a paper based auditable secret ballot. The real question is why do midterm elections bring out an average of only 36.6% of voters in the U.S.? I believe that many people believe that they have limited or no real choice in our winner take all system. We need major changes in our discriminatory and unfair ballot access laws in Connecticut. Minor parties are also discriminated against by the CITIZENS' ELECTION PROGRAM. For example, minor parties have to collect huge numbers of signatures to qualify for a full grant. If I wanted to qualify for a full grant during this election I would have to collect approximately 210,000 validated signatures. How many signatures do the two major parties have to collect? None!

Reprinted with the permission of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc.

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