|Merrill Selects 53 Primary Precincts for Post-Election Audit||Harris, Av||8/30/12 1:10 PM|
Secretary of the State
For Immediate Release: For more information:
August 30, 2012 Av Harris: (860) 509-6255
Cell: (860) 463-5939
- NEWS RELEASE -
Secretary Merrill Draws Precincts to Have August 14th Primary Results Audited
10% of All Voting Precincts Using Optical Scanners Will Have Ballots Hand Counted and Matched Against Machine Totals to Ensure Integrity of Voting
Hartford: Secretary of the State Denise Merrill today joined Connecticut Voting Rights advocates at a news conference at the State Capitol to randomly select the voting precincts which will have election results audited following the August 14, 2012 statewide primaries. As required by Connecticut General Statutes 9-320f, ten percent of the polling precincts in the election using optical scan voting machines are subject to an audit. All told, 523 polling precincts used optical scan voting machines on August 14th, meaning that some 53 precincts were chosen to have their election results audited.
“Voters had their say on August 14th about who they want on the general election ballot,” said Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official. “Now, it is our duty to audit the machine totals from the statewide primaries to ensure the accuracy of our optical scanners. We are committed to making sure Connecticut voters have continued confidence that their votes were recorded accurately and that’s why these independent audits are so vital.”
The audits can begin as of today and must be completed by September 17, 2012.
“Auditing election results isn’t just a good idea, it’s absolutely essential in order to guarantee the integrity of our elections,” said Secretary Merrill. “We don’t just take the machines’ word for it. So we will have every ballot cast in a full 10% of precincts using optical scan machines hand counted and matched against the machine totals. Connecticut has the toughest elections audit law in the country and I am confident that following this audit the numbers will once again match.”
In total, audits will be conducted in sixty precincts. The law requires a hand audit 10% of all polling places where optical scan machines were used in all elections and primaries. (Polling precincts which are already part of a recount are exempt from audits by statute). In addition to the 53 precincts chosen for an audit, there were also 10 alternate precincts chosen. The provisions in the law, developed in close cooperation with the computer science department at the University of Connecticut, give Connecticut one of the strictest audit statutes in the country. Connecticut is the first state in New England to require a comprehensive audit of election results.
Connecticut General Statute 9-320f states that local Registrars of Voters, “… shall conduct a manual audit of the votes recorded in not less than ten per cent of the voting districts in the state, district or municipality, whichever is applicable. Such manual audit shall be noticed in advance and be open to public observation.” The results of audits will be analyzed by the University of Connecticut and then presented to the Secretary of the State’s Office and the State Elections Enforcement Commission, and ultimately made available to the public.
The law contains a detailed description of the audit process:
“The manual audit… shall consist of the manual tabulation of the paper ballots cast and counted by each voting machine subject to such audit. Once complete, the vote totals established pursuant to the manual tabulation shall be compared to the results reported by the voting machine on the day of the election or primary. The results of the manual tabulation shall be reported on a form prescribed by the Secretary of the State which shall include the total number of ballots counted, the total votes received by each candidate in question, the total votes received by each candidate in question on ballots that were properly completed by each voter and the total votes received by each candidate in question on ballots that were not properly completed by each voter. Such report shall be filed with the Secretary of the State who shall immediately forward such report to The University of Connecticut for analysis. The University of Connecticut shall file a written report with the Secretary of the State regarding such analysis that describes any discrepancies identified. After receipt of such report, the Secretary of the State shall file such report with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.”
List of polling precincts to be audited:
Town Polling Place