From the Press Release:
Watchdog Group: Time to Change Post-Election Audit
Independent Observation and Analysis of Connecticut’s 2022 Post-Election Audit
HARTFORD: We conclude, based on citizen observations and analysis of official municipal post-election vote audit of the November 2022 election, that it failed to meet basic audit standards. Again, the Secretary of the State’s Office failed to require local officials to conduct the audit according to law and published procedures. As a result, voters cannot have confidence in the accuracy of election results when 41% of official audit reports from registrars were incomplete.
After 15 years with disappointing, locally performed, hand-count audits, we recommend replacement of all local hand-count audits with sufficient and efficient electronically assisted manual audits utilizing the UConn Audit Station.
We are pleased that officials made progress in the following area:
- The UConn Audit Station made progress in counting creased, folded, and colored ballots. In that regard the technology is quite mature.
Yet long-standing problems continue:
- 38% of official audit reports from registrars were incomplete. Several were insufficient to determine the results of the audit.
- Weaknesses in ballot chain-of-custody and security procedures remain. Ballot security is necessary for confidence that ballots were not tampered with between the election and the municipal audit counting sessions.
- 9 districts attributed differences in vote and ballot counts to Human Error. A large increase from the 2 we reported in 2019.
- Despite progress in 2019 and 2020 in verifiability of the electronic audits, in 2021 those audits eliminated comparing samples of paper ballots to Cast Vote Records.
“After 15 years of post-election audits, the public should expect that officials would have learned how to get it right”, said Luther Weeks, Executive Director of the Citizen Audit, adding “We recommend that using the UConn Audit Station for audits could be an better alternative to hand-count audits which many local officials continue to resist.”
The non-partisan Connecticut Citizen Election Audit has provided volunteer observation and post-election audit reports since the adoption of optical scanners statewide in 2007.
All reports and backup data are available online at: http://www.CTElectionAudit.org.