We Must Do Better: Connecticut’s November 2018 Post Election Audit

Citizens Audit Report:
We Must Do Better:
Independent Observation and Analysis of Connecticut’s 2018 Post Election Audit

From the Press Release:

Post-election vote audits of the November 2018 elections failed to meet basic audit standards. Audit should provide voters with justified confidence in elections. Instead, these audits reduce our confidence in election officials, concludes the non-partisan Connecticut Citizen Election Audit. Five percent of the State’s election districts were randomly chosen to be audited, as required by state law.

Among the Citizen Audit’s concerns:

  • The audits were not conducted and reported as required by law. The Secretary of the State’s Office continues to fail to take responsibility for that failure by local officials.
  • 39% of official audit reports submitted by town registrars were incomplete.
  • Human error was still considered an acceptable explanation of differences between machine and manual counts. This defeats the purpose of the audits.
  • Weaknesses in ballot chain-of-custody and security procedures.
  • Continued use of flawed electronic audit procedures that are not publicly verifiable.

The Citizen Audit was pleased with the following developments:

  • Fewer instances of write-in ballots not properly stored in separate envelopes.
  • Fewer instances of write-in ballots read into scanners multiple times on election night.
  • Electronic Audit equipment had few if any problems reading creased, folded, or mutilated ballots.

“We are frustrated with so little improvement after 20 statewide audits over 11 years,” Luther Weeks, Executive Director of the Citizen Audit said. “Citizens deserve better. If the Secretary of the State’s     Office acts to fix these problems and pursues publicly verifiable electronic audits, progress can be achieved in the near term.”

<Press Release .pdf> <Full Report pdf> <Detail data/municipal reports>