Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz announced today that post election audits conducted in 10% of all voting precincts in Connecticut have shown extremely accurate machine counts on Election Day November 4, 2008. An initial review of the audit results has been completed by the Office of the Secretary of State, and the results will now undergo a complete, independent analysis by the University of Connecticut’s Voting Technology Research Center under the direction of Dr. Alexander Shvartsman.
“We set a record in Connecticut on November 4th with 1.64 million people casting ballots and Election Day went remarkably smoothly,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “The results of this audit indicate, once again, that the optical scan voting system is secure and extremely accurate. Connecticut voters can be confident in the integrity of our elections and that their votes were counted correctly. Still, I’m not asking anyone to simply take my word for it: that’s why these post-election procedures are so important. We want to shine the light on the electoral process, before and after all votes are cast. So far, Connecticut’s new voting machines have passed the test every step of the way.”
As part of Connecticut’s audit law, believed to be the toughest in the United States, Secretary Bysiewicz randomly selected 84 polling precincts. Under state law, 10% of all precincts (833 used on November 4, 2008) used in the election are subject to an audit. Such audits consist of hand counts of all paper ballots for selected races and then a comparison of those results with the tally from the optical scan machines. Audits are conducted in public with representatives from all parties invited. As a part of this audit, the results of the races for President, Congress, State Senate, State Representative and Registrar of Voters (where applicable) were recounted by hand. Results will be analyzed by UCONN, made available to the public, and sent to the State Elections Enforcement Commission.
While the audits did uncover accurate machine counts on Election Day, there were discrepancies in isolated cases involving the hand-count audits for some ballots marked with votes for major party candidates who were cross endorsed by minor parties.
In addition to the hand count audits, memory cards used by optical scan machines from all 84 precincts to undergo an audit will be sent to UCONN and tested under the supervision of professor Shvartsman. Up to 25% of all memory cards to record votes in Connecticut on Election Day November 4th may be tested by researchers at UCONN for testing, with the results expected in early 2009.