Christine Stuart photo
In the 10 towns in the Second Congressional District where the new Diebold Accu-Vote machines were used there were nowhere near the vote counting mistakes made in towns that used old lever voting technology, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Wednesday. In the 10 towns using the new machines that will be used next November throughout the state, there were 18 total changes made. The 18 changes pale in comparison to 306 changes made in the 55 towns that used the old voting technology.
It seems the new voting machines have passed the test, but just to make certain they are as secure as they seem to be, Bysiewicz will have the University of Connecticut audit 20 percent of the results in 15 towns outside the Second District. Seventeen polling places were chosen in front of the media Wednesday by a represenative of the League of Women Voters. The 10 towns in the Second Congressional District that tested the new technology will not be part of an audit of the new machines planned for Nov. 21-28. Click here to see what UConn’s pre-election audit found. The audit is not about the machines’ integrity, Bysiewicz said. Deputy Secretary Lesley Mara said UConn will advise the office of how many of the machines they will inspect for integrity, which will include towns in the Second Congressional District. Bysiewicz said the audit of 20 percent of the results from 17 polling places outside the Second Congressional District represents a “significant sample.” Asked why they’re not going to re-audit the results from the new technology in the Second Congressional District, Bysiewicz said, “The Attorney General has advised us not to.” She said each of the ballots in those 10 towns have already been inspected by a Democrat and Republican election official who looked at each ballot to determine voter intent. She said the machines are set up to count the ovals that are colored in, so if a voter simply checked the oval or put an X through it, the machine would not have counted it.Some of the vote count changes in towns that used the new technology were based on provisional ballots, a member of Bysiewicz’s staff pointed out Wednesday. Bysiewicz said the audit of the results from the 17 polling places selected Wednesday from the 15 towns outside the Second District will be completed before the vote is certified Nov. 28. Bysiewicz said she does not expect there will be a court challenge in the Second District Congressional race between Democrat Joe Courtney and Republican Congressman Rob Simmons, but if here is, it needs to be filed before Nov. 21. Courtney won the recount by 91 votes, Bysiewicz said.