Secretary of the State Ignores Post-Election Audits as Key in Elections

The Secretary of the State, Denise Merrill, has released the Election Calendar for the 2017 Municipal Elections in this press release <read> and calendar <read>

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill announced key dates for 2017 elections. The schedule comprises dates for placement of candidates on the ballot, filing deadlines, availability of absentee ballots as well as timetables for primaries and the general election, among others.
Secretary Merrill, Connecticut’s chief elections official, said, “Local races can be among the most important in terms of direct impact on voters’ lives. Major decisions are made by mayors, town councils and other local legislative bodies…”

What can we learn from the press release and calendar?

  • Elections Officials and the Secretary of the State’s Office work all year. In many towns the jobs are low pay and part time, yet the schedule is year-round and relentless.  There are only a few periods when officials can take turns taking vacations attending to personal matters, like medical procedures. Occasionally the job is viewed as cushy, partisan, and thankless.
  • The Secretary of the State apparently considers post-election audits as not important enough to be included in the schedule.

In our view, the schedule should include a date for the post-election audit random drawing and dates for the beginning and the end of the post-election audit.  Then, officials across the State can plan ahead.  Knowing the date for the random drawing, they could know with certainty if they have been selected for the audit or not; knowing the beginning and end of they audit, they can plan a date for a potential audit long in advance, leaving them free to schedule vacations or personal matters for other days.

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