Connecticut: Merrill's office selects precincts for post-primaries audit
By Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office
Hartford, CT - Deputy Secretary of the State James Spallone today joined Connecticut voting rights advocates from CT Voters Count and Common Cause for a public drawing to randomly select 12 precincts that will have election results audited following the September 13, 2011 municipal primaries that took place in 21 Connecticut communities. A complete list of the precincts selected is below. Precincts from Bridgeport, where municipal primaries were held on September 27th, will be drawn at random for a post election audit at a later date.
“On September 13th voters went to the polls across Connecticut to choose nominees to run in November’s general election to fill very important roles in local government,” said Deputy Secretary of the State James Spallone. “Our audit law exists to hold our election process accountable and reassure the public to have continued confidence that all votes were recorded accurately. We will repeat this process again in the near future for the city of Bridgeport, whose primary was held two weeks after other cities and towns.”
Voters went to the polls for municipal primaries in the following 21 Connecticut cities and towns on Tuesday September 13, 2011: Brookfield, Cromwell, East Hartford, Farmington, Guilford, Hartford, Lebanon, Lisbon, Killingworth, Middlebury, Middletown, New Haven, New Britain, New London, North Stonington, Norwalk, Oxford, Stratford, Scotland, Trumbull, and West Haven. The General Election for municipal candidates will be held on Tuesday November 8, 2011.
As required by Public Act 07-194, An Act Concerning the Integrity and Security of the Voting Process, 10% percent of the polling precincts used in the election are subject to an audit. Secretary Merrill directed that a pool of 114 precincts from the communities that held municipal primaries September 13th, not counting precincts that required a recount. To comply with the law, 12 precincts were chosen to have their election results audited. In addition, five alternate precincts were chosen, they will only face an audit if one of the selected precincts cannot perform an audit. The audits must be complete by October 21, 2011.
The law requires a hand audit 10% of all polling places in all elections and primaries. (Polling precincts which are already part of a recount are exempt from audits by statute). 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.
Public Act 07-194 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 Precincts chosen for the post-election audit:
Annie Fisher School
Macdonough School-District 1
Roosevelt Middle School District 3
Welte Hall District 9
Stanley Holmes School District 14
Troup School Ward 2
Truman School Ward 4
Cross Formerly East Rock Ward 9
Wilbur Cross High School Ward 10
Firehouse Lombard Ward 15
West Hills/Micro Society School Ward 30-02
The Community Room
Moody School Gym District 4
Vance School District 1
Hall Of Records Ward 7
Clarence Rogers School Ward 30-1