CTVotersCount.org

Summary: To have integrity and confidence in Connecticut's elections  the legislature must enhance the current law to audit sufficient races, questions, and districts to detect errors and deter fraud. Elections are expensive, campaigns are expensive, and corruption is costly. We can audit the entire election for $0.20 to $0.50 per ballot cast - less than the cost of a single mailing by a single candidate. 

Signed by nine-hundred-ninety-nine (994) Connecticut voters and delivered on January 8, 2009:

 

Petition To Enhance Confidence In Connecticut Elections (2009)

 

To:       The Honorable M. Jodi Rell, Governor
The Honorable Susan M. Bysiewicz, Secretary of the State
Government Administration and Elections Committee
Connecticut General Assembly

. 

Whereas, election integrity is a basic requirement of democracy; it is impossible to evaluate or test electronic voting sufficiently to guarantee accurate election results;  recent scientific studies, including those from the University of Connecticut commissioned by the State of Connecticut, show that the AccuVote-OS is highly subject to errors and fraud by insiders, neglected procedures, or compromised procedures;  history has shown that election  procedures are unenforceable and frequently violated or ignored, including in Connecticut (as demonstrated  in public hearings across the state, post-election audit observations, and memory card audits);  history has shown that paper balloting alone is also subject to error and fraud; we cannot continue risking democracy with inadequate laws insufficient to provide voting integrity and confidence.

We the undersigned request that appropriate and sufficient post-election audit legislation be enacted during the 2009 legislative session that meets high levels of security, transparency, and post-election audit standards: 

  • Providing expeditious, transparent, public, hand-counted, random audits after every type of election, primary, and referendum, Federal, State and local.
  • Affirming the purposes of the audits are: to assure integrity of the final election result; to prevent, to uncover, to report discrepancies due to error, malfunction, and fraud; and to evaluate the integrity of the voting process.
  •  Requiring procedures specified in advance, overseen, expanded where appropriate, and certified by an Independent Audit Board, based on the current level of science in election auditing.
  • Requiring a high confidence that any election outcome that is confirmed by the audit is in fact correct.
  • Requiring all audit tallying sessions, random drawings and pre-election testing sessions be open to the public and announced publicly at least five days in advance at a single statewide publicly available web site;
  • Requiring the entire audit process be transparent and observable with clear written procedures for random selection, audit tallying, audit reporting, and audit escalation in the case of discrepancies.
  • Requiring the Independent Audit Review Board to review audit results and posted election statistics with the power to order full or partial hand-count recounts whenever they determine that the results may not reflect the intention of the voters or would be in the interest of enhancing public confidence.
  • Requiring that all types of ballots must be audited by manual hand-counting including district counted, centrally counted, manually counted, provisional, and absentee ballots.
  • Requiring that the audit must be completed before and results incorporated into the final official results;
  • Providing that preliminary election results, audit results, and audit reports must be made available publicly, indefinitely, in a downloadable format in a public web archive.
  • Codifying in law a strict, enforceable chain of custody for ballots, election day reports, memory cards, and tabulators to prevent the addition, subtraction, substitution, or alteration of such records until released by the Independent Audit Board.
  • Requiring such chain of custody to mandate permanent, publicly available records of each access, transportation, sealing and unsealing, while precluding access by single individuals, members of a single political party, or persons representing a single candidate in a primary.
  • Providing for mandatory one-hundred percent independent testing of all memory cards or similar election specific programming prior to shipment to local election officials, conducted within Connecticut by an entity independent of the entity(s) responsible for programming such equipment.

Whereas, the added costs of manual audits represent an unfunded mandate by the State, necessitated in part by Federal laws, the responsibility for which falls disproportionately on smaller municipalities;  these costs represent a small fraction of the cost of optical scan voting, a small fraction of the costs of an election, less than the cost per voter a candidate or legislator spends on a single mailing; a small fraction of the costs of many recent instances of lax oversight and corruption;  these costs represent a small price to insure a government of and by the people.

We the undersigned also:

  • Are willing to pay our fair share in state taxes to reimburse towns for reasonable best practice costs of such manual audits, which are estimated to be in the range of $0.20 to $0.50 per ballot cast in Federal, State, and Municipal elections.
  • Request that you seek ways to use Federal funds to offset the maximum proportion of these costs.