State Audit Laws Searchable Database

State Audit Laws - Connecticut

This information was updated in March 2017.

State Summary:

Connecticut's audit was signed into law in 2007. Both the number and type of office audited varies by election. SB1051 enacted in 2015 authorized the use of electronic equipment for the purpose of conducting any audit required pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (f) for any primary or general election held on or after January 1, 2016.

Transparency:

No statutory guidance allowing observers to verify ballot marks
Statutes require that audit results and data be made public
Statutes specify that audits must be conducted publicly

Audits are to "be noticed in advance and be open to public observation." However, there is no mention of how much advance notice must be given. See

Voting Systems Used:

Paper ballot

Precinct-count optical scanners and ballot marking devices are used statewide. For details visit the Connecticut page on The Verifier.

Binding:

No statutory guidance whether audit results are binding on official results

Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit:

Statutes specify criteria to expand the audit (up to a full recount)

The Secretary of State is given authority to investigate further if the manual count cannot be reconciled with the initial machine tabulation. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (i).

The audit is to be expanded to a "discrepancy re-canvass" if the difference between the manual and machine counts is more than .5% and cannot be resolved through other means (for instance, an accounting of improperly marked ballots). See Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320 (f) and (o).

Re-canvasses in Connecticut are not full hand recounts, but utilize a mix of both hand recounting and machine re-tabulation. Procedures for discrepancy re-canvasses can be found in Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-311, "Re-canvass in case of discrepancy".

Audit Comprehensiveness:

No statutory guidance for ballots counted by hand on election day to be included in audit
No statutory guidance for either early, absentee or provisional ballots

The audit law pertains to "the paper ballots cast and counted by each voting machine" Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (d), and it does not mention the inclusion of early, absentee, or provisional ballots.

Additional Targeted Samples:

No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples

While the Secretary of State has authority to investigate discrepancies, the statutes do not explicitly mention the possibility of additional targeted samples as part of such investigation.

Contests and Issues Audited:

Federal election contests audited
Local election contests audited
Predetermined election contests or ballot issues are audited
Primary elections audited
Randomly selected election contests or ballots issue are audited
Statewide election contests audited

The statute calls for auditing both some predetermined offices, which vary depending on the type of election, as well as at least one office selected randomly in each election. For elections in which either the office of president or governor is on the ballot, at least three races must be audited; for municipal elections, "three offices or twenty per cent of the number of offices on the ballot, whichever is greater;" and for primary elections, no less "than twenty per cent of the offices on the ballot". See Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (b). Only election contests are audited, not ballots questions/issues.

Type of Audit Units:

Precincts/districts

With the passage of SB 252 in 2016 the percentage of voting districts was reduced to not less than 5%, to be randomly selected by the Secretary of State to be audited. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (a).

Counting Method:

Electronic count
Hand count

Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (d) originally specifies that the audit "shall consist of the manual tabulation of the paper ballots cast and counted by each voting machine" in the selected precincts. However, with the passage of SB 1051 in 2015, the use of electronic equipment for the purpose of conducting audits was authorized after January 1, 2016.

Oversight and Conduct of Audit: The local registrars of voters are responsible for conducting elections. The random selection of the offices to be audited is conducted locally for municipal and primary elections, and otherwise handled by the Secretary of State. This leads to greater independence for those general elections with statewide or federal offices on the ballot than for those with only local offices on the ballot. However, all audit decisions are made by the Secretary of State. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (b).

Timeline for Audit: "Not earlier than the fifteenth day after any election or primary and not later than two business days before the canvass of votes by the Secretary of the State, Treasurer and Comptroller, for any federal or state election or primary, or by the town clerk for any municipal election or primary, the registrars of voters shall conduct a manual audit of the votes recorded in not less than ten per cent of the voting districts in the state, district or municipality, whichever is applicable." See Conn. Gen. Stat. §9-320f (a).

Additional Resources:


Connecticut Secretary of State - Elections
General Statutes of Connecticut - Title 9 - Elections (2015)
Connecticut Citizen Audit Coalition Reports
Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission



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