CT: Post-Election Audit: 84 Districts, 55 Towns, and 5 Races

Yesterday, I was present as the Secretary of the State held the random drawing of districts to audit.  Later in the day the Secretary ordered that all five State and Federal offices be audited rather than three randomly selected races as required in the law.

Here are a couple of sample news articles on the drawing:

Hat City Blog <read> with selected districts and statement from the Secretary of the State’s Office.

Conn Post article <read>

In an e-mail later in the day to registrars with districts selected, the office explained:

All offices on the ballot will be audited except local municipal races such as RTM, Board of Education, etc. Therefore, the Offices of President, Representative in Congress, State Senator, State Representative and Registrar of Voters will be included in this audit.

As CTVotersCount.org readers know, we have been calling for stronger, more effective audits of all races and contests.

Auditing all five State and Federal races will provide more confidence in the results of those races. While we are pleased to see such enhanced confidence, we would rather the legislature provide audits based on statistical confidence. We would audit statewide and Congressional races based on the number of districts in the race and the margins. We would include questions. We would exempt non-contested races, such as registrar in most districts.

For instance in this election we would audit:

  • 1% vs 10% of districts for the Presidential race
  • 2% vs 10% of districts for the tightest Congressional race (Shays/Himes)
  • 1% vs 10% of districts in the other Congressional races
  • 1% vs 0% of the districts in the two statewide questions
  • Perhaps 0.2% of registrar races
  • The equivalent of about 1 race in 25% of districts for all other races and questions

In summary:

  • The current law would count 3 races time 10% of districts = 252 races in districts
  • The November audit will count 5 races times 10% of districts = 420 races in districts
  • Our proposal would count a total of approximately 254 contests in districts

So for about the same effort and cost, we would be auditing every statewide and Congressional race less while also subjecting all races and contests to the audit.

Note: Costs and effort vary widely by election type, contest margins, and vote volume. We expect our proposal would cost more overall through the average election cycle than the current law. Municipal elections would tend to cost more per ballot cast per election while Presidential elections, Gubernatorial elections, and primaries would average closer to the costs of the current law. Our primary focus is on providing voters with election integrity and confidence, however, we are also concerned with cost and providing the most effective use of resources.

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