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EVT/WOTE: When is the CT Recanvass law totally inadequate?

To be reasonably sure that the correct candidate is officially designated as the winner in a race with a write-in candidate, it would be prudent to assume the possibility of a 25% undercount of write-in votes. Then require a recount of all write-in votes in a race where the write-in candidate received at least 42% of the votes in a two candidate race (or 42% of the votes necessary to win in a more than two candidate race.)

CTMirror Op-Ed: State recanvass law inadequate for close elections

The recent Hartford close vote, recanvass and election challenge provides an example to highlight the limitations of the Connecticut recanvass law. Read our op-ed published today in the CTMirror.

Candidate files complaint in close election recanvass. Update: Another candidate complaint

In our opinion, in a race a close as this one, the only satisfactory solution is a complete, manual, adversarial recount. While some of Mr. Green’s allegations are cause for concern, even if the recanvass was performed competently, thoroughly, and legally there may be ballots that were not properly classified due to insufficient scrutiny for voter intent and voter identification. Such differences could easily change the winner is this close a race, disqualifying two votes or reversing just one vote could make a tie.

A Thought Provoking Day at another Recanvass

Based on my observations and discussions everyone there was working hard to do a good job. And I have no reason to question the integrity of the recanvass…At the end, I was left with several areas where I would want to change the law/regulations/procedures to increase the integrity and transparency of the recanvass process. I also have a few suggestions for election officials as well…I am also left with a new appreciation that one of the primary benefits of a recount, recanvass, or audit is for the loosing candidates.

A Day At The Recanvass

When initial election results are close, in Connecticut, there is an automatic recanvass. Loosely, a recanvass is often called a recount. Yesterday we had municipal primary elections in twenty-nine of our one-hundred and sixty-nine towns. I woke up to a Hartford Courant article about a close primary in Cromwell that would be “recounted” at 10:00am today. Although I have observed nineteen post-election audits, I have only attended one previous recanvass and that was a lever machine recount after the November 2006 election. I was available and Cromwell is nearby.

Minnesota Recount vs. Connecticut Recanvass

The Minnesota recount which started on November 19th goes on and will probably continue for several additional days, perhaps weeks. You can read about some of the details of the ongoing Minnesota senate recount at the blog of the Citizens for Voting Integrity MN <blog> We ask: Would this happen here, in Connecticut? Should this […]

CT Attorney General’s opinion on Ranked Choice Voting

AG William Tong concludes that for State Offices (General Assembly, Judge of Probate, Governor, LT Governor etc.) would require a Constitutional Amendment.

I would go one step further that the Constitutional requirement that such offices be counted and certified within 10 days of the election would be all but impossible to coordinate across the entire State if they required multiple hand recanvasses (recounts) , as the order of elimination can be critical and more than one can be very close.

Random Audit Drawing – First to use 10-sided die, rather than barrel

After several years of our asking, Secretary Thomas uses 10-sided die for drawing. This is much more fair, transparent, and random than drawing slips from a barrel. The Secretary gets our applause for this change.

Here are the districts chosen, from the Press Release:

This time there were a number of medium and large cities with recanvasses, exempt from the audit. So a higher percentage were chosen from the remaining towns. Also we believe Fairfield is exempt based on a highly publicized recanvass, so at least Suffield will be added from the alternates: <read>

Testimony on two small, instructive bills

Last week I submitted testimony on two bills before the GAE (General Administration and Elections Committee.) (Read my testimony here)

This is likely the last time I will testify this year. Both of the bills seem minor, yet offered and opportunity to highlight errors and inconsistencies in the law that are overlooked and not addressed.

The first about collecting envelopes from drop boxes. There is no requirement for more than one person to collect the envelopes. There is no requirement that the collection and materials be logged. Who supports that ballots and other materials should be collected and transported by only one person, at any time?

The other making minor changes to the recanvass law, including requiring a training video from the Secretary of the State. I suggested several other changes, such as notifying all candidates, sending the video link along (so that everyone involved know the rules, and that one observer should be allowed per counting team.

When submitting testimony one can specify Support, Oppose, or General Comments. When signing up to speak the choices are Support or Oppose. I often wrestle with this. I know that some look just at how many support or oppose a bill. Here there is much missing, so I choose oppose.

Ranked-Choice Voting, Ned Lamont, and Connecticut

Last week, in return for an endorsement, Ned Lamont endorsed Ranked-Choice Voting Minor party endorses Lamont after a pledge for election reform

Monte Frank got one thing right that we have not seen recognized by anyone before:…

As I said in my testimony summary:

I am open to the benefits of IRV. Yet, I have several reservations about the use of IRV in Connecticut and other states. I support a comprehensive study of all IRV, RCV, and related options along with the challenges of implementing them in Connecticut. 

I remain skeptical of all the touted benefits and if Connecticut voters are ready for the associated complexity, costs, and delays. For more see my testimony.