Coalition Releases Audit Report on CT August Primary:

October 13, 2008

Raises concerns with audit credibility and potential problems for November post-election audit

Hartford, Connecticut –Today, the Connecticut Citizen Election Audit Coalition released a report summarizing the observations of 46 citizen observers at 27 state-mandated post-election audits conducted by local officials following the August primary election. In its 3rd observation report, the Coalition noted continuing improvements in procedures and compliance, while finding additional areas of concern.

Coalition spokesperson Luther Weeks noted, “Asking more questions, focusing on the chain-of-custody, we found potential risks to the integrity of ballots counted in the audits. This further reduces the credibility of the audit results. Democracy depends on the integrity and credibility of the election process. Election credibility requires procedures that are effective, enforced, and transparent”

From the report:
Despite continued improvements to the published procedures, the August post-election audit observations do not inspire increased confidence… the lack of standards and detailed guidance, and the lack of consistency, reliability, and transparency in the conduct of the audit continues… We find potential risks to the integrity of and confidence in the reported results of post-election audits based on the lack of uniformly secure ballot storage and access. Looking forward, we doubt the current ad-hoc counting procedures used by most municipalities will prove sufficient to accurately and efficiently count ballots considering the expected volume in the November 2008 election

Cheryl Dunson, Vice President Public Issues of the League of Women voters of Connecticut stated that, “We are pleased that several of our recommendations from two previous observation reports have been implemented and that the Secretary of the State and local election officials continue to improve the process.”

Andy Sauer, Executive Director, Common Cause Connecticut said, “After three post-election audits of optical scan voting and five public hearings in the last year, it is imperative that the legislature act in the next session to strengthen post-election audits and close gaps in Connecticut election law based on experience”.

Observers came from the membership ranks of the coalition partners -- The League of Women Voters of Connecticut, The Connecticut Citizen Action Group, Common Cause Connecticut, and Connecticut Voters Count. The coalition’s reports are available online at: http://www.CTElectionAudit.org