16 September 2012

The Integrity of the Vote

I went to 2 Audits of the Voting Machines last week, as a volunteer for the Connecticut Citizens Election Audit Coalition.

This is a group effort of Common Cause, the League of Women Voters, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, and CT Voters Count.

That's a lot of links. Here's the story:

After every election the Secretary of the State (now the truly wonderful Denise Merrill) has volunteers select 10% of the polling places in Connecticut for an Audit. Contrary to the concerns of Registrars of Voters, this is totally random. I even assisted in the selection this year, to guarantee that I could truly witness the randomness of the selection process.

There are people (you could be one!) who volunteer to observe the  machine audits after every election in CT. It is only an investment of time. I have volunteered 10 times, with only one repeat town.

The Audit involves a review of the Chain of Custody for the ballots from the election, followed by a hand count of the ballots in order to confirm that the scanners and memory cards for the voting machines are operating accurately. There is a section of the report where we record concerns of the Registrars of Voters, so that their voice can be heard.

Luther Weeks, an actuary, collates all town audit reports from the volunteers and then writes a final report ( here is the report from November 2011 - .pdf) which he submits - with recommendations - to the Secretary of the State and the Government Administration and Elections Committee.

So I volunteer. I go spend a few hours in a town where I don't live, checking boxes on a form, ensuring that the Registrars have all the information they need to conduct a fair election, finding out if the ballots or machines were tampered with (has not happened in Connecticut to my knowledge), and fulfilling a civic obligation.

Volunteer now for the post-election Audit which will follow our Presidential election in November!

(Brownie Points are self-assigned.)

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