Opinion: End exemptions to post-election audits

Luther Weeks
Luther Weeks

Luther Weeks is executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Election Audit

When auditing town expense accounts, would it make sense to exempt some departments? When inspecting trucks, would it make sense to exempt school buses? When inspecting restaurants, would it make sense to exempt diners? Any exemption is an opening for errors to go undetected and an opportunity for fraud.

Equally it doesn’t make sense that the Connecticut’s post-election audit law exempts all votes on questions, election day registration, originally hand-counted ballots and absentee ballots from our post-election audit.  Election integrity and public confidence demand that all ballots be subject to random selection for audit. Exempt ballots already determine many elections, while the number and percentage of exempt ballots is growing.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.


2 responses to “Opinion: End exemptions to post-election audits”

  1. Stuart Wells

    The post election audit, as currently conducted in Connecticut, is not an audit of the election results – i.e. who won and by how much. It is an audit of the counting accuracy of the optical scan tabulators. Consequently, only ballots counted by the tabulator are included. Selected races on those ballots are counted by hand to see if the tabulator and its election program were working correctly.
    It would certainly be possible to include central-counted absentee ballots in the audit process. In Norwalk they are counted by a tabulator identical to the ones used at the polls. Currently those ballots are exempt from audit under state law, so that particular tabulator will not be selected for an audit.
    Mr. Weeks is proposing that hand-counted ballots be randomly selected for double checking the accuracy of the human count. The hand-counting accuracy of fatigued poll workers who have already worked 15 hour days is certainly open to question. In most elections there are very few ballots which are hand counted and if the election is close, there will be a recount (recanvass) and all ballots, including those hand-counted ballots, will be included.
    In the rare case of a large number of emergency ballots being used (think Bridgeport) it would be smarter to lock all of the ballots up on Election Night and hand count them the next day when poll workers have had some sleep. I would hope that a judge who extends voting hours (as happened in Bridgeport that year) would include such a provision in the order.
    Stuart Wells, Norwalk Registrar

  2. EveT

    Glad we have Mr. Weeks crusading for accurate counts in election results. More people should volunteer to help with these audits.

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