Elections, Technology, and the Pursuit of Integrity: the Connecticut Landscape

Posted: June 15th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Other Publications | Tags: ,

Elections, Technology, and the Pursuit of Integrity: the Connecticut Landscape
Theodore Bromley, Peggy Reeves and Alexander Shvartsman
State Certification Testing of Voting Systems National Conference
June 14-15, 2012, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Transition from lever voting machines to electronic voting technology in Connecticut necessitated the development of new policies and procedures by the Secretary of the State (SOTS) Office to safeguard the integrity and security of the new electoral process. Forming a partnership with the University of Connecticut, SOTS Office developed a comprehensive approach that extended the existing electoral procedures to incorporate the use of the new optical scan electronic voting equipment. This paper reports on the overall electoral process in Connecticut that includes new procedures that ensure strict chain-of-custody control of the electronic voting machines, safe-use of the memory cards used to program the machines for each specific district and election, and the audits performed in conjunction with each state-wide election. The comprehensive audits in Connecticut consist of hand-counted audits in 10% of randomly selected districts, and technology audits that focus on pre-election and post-election audits of memory cards. The detailed audit reports are published upon their completion. In addition, technical inspections are performed of any voting machines that possibly may not have operated correctly. The partnership between the SOTS Office and the University of Connecticut is one of the most unique examples of collaboration between state government and academe in ensuring the technological integrity of the electoral processes.

Download full paper:: CT-Ind-2012.pdf

Statistical Analysis of the Post-Election Audit Data 2011 November Election

Posted: June 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Statistical Analysis | Tags: , , , , , ,

The Center for Voting Technology Research (VoTeR Center) at the School of Engineering of the University of Connecticut received the data gathered in the post-election audit performed in the State of Connecticut following the November 2011 election. The audits involved the randomly selected 10% of the districts and the audit returns were conveyed by the Office of the Secretary of the State (SOTS) to the VoTeR Center on December 22nd of 2011. The audit data received by the Center contains 887 records, where each record represents information about a given candidate: date, district, machine seal number, office, candidate, machine counted total, hand counted total of the votes considered unquestionable by the auditors, hand counted total of the votes considered questionable by the auditors, and the hand counted total, that is, the sum of undisputed and questionable ballots. This report contains several statistical analyses of the audit returns and recommendations.

The VoTeR Center’s initial review of audit reports prepared by the towns identified a number of returns with unexplained differences between hand and machine counts. Audit returns included 45 records with discrepancies higher than 5, with the highest reported discrepancy of 40. It is worth noting that 75% (30 out of 45) of the records that were subject to the follow up investigation already contained information indicating that the discrepancies were due to the human error. Following this initial review the SOTS Office performed additional information gathering and investigation of those 45 records. The final information was conveyed to the Center on May 18th of 2012. The rest of the records (842 out of 887) discussed in this audit report are the original records reported by the towns.
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