Bysiewicz To Consider Elimination Of Manual Recounts

Last year the Legislature passed PA 07-194 mandating audits of the optical scan machines. Last year, Secretary of the State, Susan Bysiewicz promised advocates that regulations would mandate that recounts be manual counts and did not need to be included in the law. Now with less than half the mandated audits complete, according to the New London Day she is reconsidering that promise. Just one example of why it is not safe to rely on regulations and procedures to accomplish what should be in the law: <read>

Bysiewicz said if those results continue, she would recommend that future recounts be done by feeding the ballots into a different optical scanner from the one used during the election. Election workers would have to count only ballots that could not be read by the machines.

It seems she may not recommend that change for audits, just for recounts. But don’t voters have even more interest in seeing that their votes were counted as intended in a recanvass?

The audits were specifically designed and specifically mandated to answer the question, how does the voter know the machine counted their vote the way they intended,” Bysiewicz said. “The only way to do that is to hand-count them.

Recall that races involved in recounts are currently exempted from audit. So, without action by the legislature, the most important races to verify would by law be exempted from a hand verification.

Also the current state law does not give audit observers the right to visibly see the ballots such that they can visibly verify that the marks on the ballot are counted correctly. Indeed, how is a voter to know. Maybe by ‘faith’ when the ballots are ‘independently’ counted by the local election staff conducting the election?

“It is important voters have faith that their vote will be recorded accurately,” Mrs. Bysiewicz said, “and that’s why the independent audits are so vital.” <source>

Remember the election might be overturned in a recount and the reason might be because the people failed to accurately program and test the optical scanner: <recently in Riverside>

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