Has anyone here seen my old friend Accuracy?

Accuracy matters in word and in deed.

Seems like after just about every election we see media reports of potential and impending ‘recounts’, when there is no such thing in the applicable election statutes. See these stories:  CTNewsJunkie, MyLeftNutmeg, the Courant, and the CTMirror.  Where do that all get that same inaccurate idea? Perhaps from the Secretary of the State’s press release, subtitled: SECRETARY OF THE STATE NOTIFIES REGISTRARS AND TOWN CLERKS IN NEW HAVEN,WEST HAVEN, HARTFORD AND WINDSOR THEY HAVE UNTIL TUESDAY AUGUST 21ST TO COMPLETE RECOUNTS IN GENERAL ASSEMBLY DISTRICTS 5 & 116 <read> At lease she pointed them to the right statutes that use the word ‘recanvass’:

Pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes 9-311 and 9-311a, recounts are to be conducted by election moderators and supervised by Registrars of Voters. The recounts for the 2012 Primary Elections must be complete by Tuesday August 21, 2012.

Some may think we are too picky expecting the press and our chief elections official to be precise. Many people call ‘primaries’ ‘elections’ but in the statutes they are different things, just as ‘recounts’ and ‘recanvasses’ are different things in our statutes and in common use. When we think of recounts we think of the slow and controversial process in Florida in 2000, or the deliberate, adversarial, and ACCURATE process in Minnesota in 2008.

We have said it all before, several times, that a recanvass is not a recount, a recanvass is useful, but a recount is sometimes advisable. Perhaps we said it best in this op-ed: CTMirror Op-Ed: State recanvass law inadequate for close elections <read>

This could be quite confusing if they think there was a ‘recount’ in Windsor/Hartford, but the close result ends in a court battle for a ‘recount’.

We point out that words matter. Seems like just a few days ago the Secretary of The State was able rule that the Democratic Party had line 1 on the ballot, while the Working Families Party could not since they were not really the type of party referenced in the applicable statute.


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