Warning: New link to check your CT Voter Registration – Not Always Accurate

It has come to our attention that the voter information provided by the Secretary of the State’s new web tool is inaccurate in some cases.

We learned this in the course of discovering a loophole in the integrity of the post-election audit random drawing process:

This spring we realized that there was no way for us to verify the  accuracy of the  list of polling districts subject to se4lection in the 10% random drawing for post-election audits. Each time we had attended the drawing we checked a list of districts supplied by the Secretary of the State’s office against the slips placed in the barrel and occasionally founds some differences to correct. This spring, it occurred to us that we did not have a way to verify the list of districts we were given. In subsequent discussions with the Secretary of the State’s Office, we learned that municipalities are not obligated to send lists of polling places to the Secretary of the State. Municipalities are requested to do that, most do, but are not required to. The Secretary of the State’s Office has proposed legislation to mandate that information be sent, but like many bills it was never passed by the Legislature.

Subsequently we proposed that the list of districts be determined by extracting them from the Secretary of the State’s web feature for voter polling place look up.  Unfortunately, we learned that was also an unreliable source of a list of polling places, and must therefor be supplying incorrect information to some voters. The point was brought home to us when we called on of the towns selected for audit in the most recent random drawing: The district chosen in the town for audit did not currently exist.  The non-existent district was replaced by an alternate in another town, yet without a good lists of districts required an audit loophole is created since existing districts not included in the drawing could be known in advance and therefor guaranteed not to be audited.

Reviewing the Secretary of the State’s press release sent on August 5th, we see that another potential cause of inaccuracy was initially disclosed:  <read>

The website will also provide the location of the individual’s polling place. Users must be aware that occasional special conditions can force changes in
polling places. For the most up to date location, voters should check with their town offices and local registrar of voters.

However, we caution that we can find no similar caution of disclaimer on the website itself associated with the lookup feature. The only mention is in the posted press release.

Update: 9/4/2010

I observed a post-election audit yesterday.  Both districts selected in the random drawing were incorrectly identified by district numbers. Fortunately, the locations were correct and each polling place had only one district. Perhaps the problem is pervasive.

************Original Post 8/5/2010

Link to the Secretary of the State’s website to check that you are registered to vote:<click>  More voting information: <click>

While we applaud the Secretary and her staff for making this available, we have one suggestion: Include the party affiliation in the results. We find that many voters do not recall their affiliation, if any. Having that available would reduce much confusion and unnecessary work for voters and registrars.

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