Connecticut Audit Information

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This information was updated in September 2013.

 

State Summary

 

Connecticut's audit was signed into law in 2007.  Both the number and type of office audited varies by election.

Transparency: 

Statutes specify that audits must be conducted publicly

Statutes require that audit results and data be made public

No statutory guidance allowing observers to verify ballot marks

 

Audits are to “be noticed in advance and be open to public observation.” However, there is no mention of how much advance notice must be given. See Section Sec. 9-320f, Subsection (a): http://www.cga.ct.gov/2008/sup/chap148.htm#Sec9-320f.htm.

Subsection (b) also clarifies that the selection of the audit sample is also open to the public.

No mention is made in the statutes pertaining to audits regarding either officially appointed observers or the ability of observers to verify voter marks.

Subsection (d) states that after the audit is conducted, reports are to be made to and analyzed by The University of Connecticut, whose analysis will then be filed with both the Secretary of State and the State Elections Enforcement Commission. Subsection (h) clarifies that these reports are “open to public inspection.”

 

The random selection of offices for the audit are not required to be public or to be announced in advance.

Voting Systems Used: 

Paper ballot (optical scanners used by most municipalities but not required)

 

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Binding: 

No statutory guidance that audit results are binding upon official results

Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit: 

Statutes specify criteria to expand the audit (up to a full recount)

 

The Secretary of State is given authority to investigate further if the manual count cannot be reconciled with the initial machine tabulation. See Section 9-320f, Subsection (i).

The audit is to be expanded to a “discrepancy recanvass” if the difference between the manual and machine counts is more than .5% and cannot be resolved through other means (for instance, an accounting of improperly marked ballots). See Subsections (f) and (o).

Recanvasses in Connecticut are not full hand recounts, but utilize a mix of both hand recounting and machine retabulation. Procedures for discrepancy recanvasses can be found in Section 9-311, “Recanvass in case of discrepancy”: http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/connecticut/ct-laws/connecticut_statutes_9-311b

Audit Comprehensiveness: 

No statutory guidance for either early, absentee or provisional ballots

No statutory guidance for ballots counted by hand on election day to be included in audit

 

The audit law pertains to “the paper ballots cast and counted by each voting machine” Section 9-320f, Subsection (d), and it does not mention the inclusion of early, absentee, or provisional ballots.

Additional Targeted Samples: 

No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples

 

While the Secretary of State has authority to investigate discrepancies, the statutes do not explicitly mention the possibility of additional targeted samples as part of such investigation.

Contests and Issues Audited: 

Predetermined election contests or ballot issues are audited
Randomly selected election contests or ballots issue are audited

Primary elections audited

Local election contests audited

Statewide election contests audited

Federal election contests audited

 

The statute calls for auditing both some predetermined offices, which vary depending on the type of election, as well as at least one office selected randomly in each election. For elections in which either the office of president or governor is on the ballot, at least three races must be audited; for municipal elections, “three offices or twenty per cent of the number of offices on the ballot, whichever is greater;” and for primary elections, no less “than twenty per cent of the offices on the ballot.” Sec. 9-320f, Subsection (b).  Note that only election contests are audited, not ballots questions/issues.

Type of Audit Units: 

Precincts/districts


Not less than 10% of voting districts are to be randomly selected by the Secretary of State to be audited. See Section 9-320f, Subsection (a).

Counting Method: 

Hand count only

 

Section 9-320f, Subsection (d) clearly specifies that the audit “shall consist of the manual tabulation of the paper ballots cast and counted by each voting machine” in the selected precincts.

 

Oversight and Conduct of Audit:

The local registrars of voters are responsible for conducting elections. The random selection of the offices to be audited is conducted locally for municipal and primary elections, and otherwise handled by the Secretary of State. This leads to greater independence for those general elections with statewide or federal offices on the ballot than for those with only local offices on the ballot. However, all audit decisions are made by the Secretary of State. See Section 9-320f, Subsection (b).

 

Timeline for Audit:
“Not earlier than the fifteenth day after any election or primary and not later than two business days before the canvass of votes by the Secretary of the State, Treasurer and Comptroller, for any federal or state election or primary, or by the town clerk for any municipal election or primary, the 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.”  See Section 9-320f, Subsection (a).