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Registrars Complete Uneventful Machine Audit



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Early on Sunday morning, November 22, Newtown Registrars of Voters Erica Canfield and LeReine Frampton joined with a handful of support personnel to complete what they hoped would be the last official activity of the roller-coaster 2020 election season.

About a week earlier, the electronic voting machine assigned to tabulate ballots in Newtown’s District 3-2 was selected to be among dozens across the state being audited for accuracy.

Connecticut’s Secretary of the State Denise Merrill randomly selected voting precincts to have certain results audited following the November 3 election. Five percent of the polling places that use optical scan machines are subject to the audit, as prescribed by Connecticut General Statutes.

Those hand counted ballots were matched against vote totals from optical scan machines.

The outcome of the audit proved the machine was operating accurately, Frampton told The Newtown Bee.

“We were only off by one and it was due to voter error,” Frampton explained, saying one voter used check marks instead of coloring in the ovals on their ballot. But on one ballot line the check mark did not touch the oval, so that one vote was not registered by the machine.

“It does not change the final outcome. We were testing the accuracy of the machine, and the machine was very accurate,” Frampton said.

Secretary Merrill said, “Connecticut’s post-election audits are essential to ensuring the integrity of the vote. Thank you so much to the local election officials who worked so hard to make this process such a success and who conducted the election in a transparent, professional manner.”

There were 743 polling locations that used optical scan machines on November 3 so the Secretary of the State chose thirty eight primary and eleven alternate locations. The results of audits will be analyzed by the University of Connecticut, the Secretary of the State’s Office, and the State Elections Enforcement Commission, and then be made available to the public.

Connecticut boasts one of the strictest audit statutes in the country and was the first state in New England to require a comprehensive audit of primary results.

In related news, Frampton said her office also received a grant in excess of $10,000 to underwrite any added costs to help better outfit polling places and protect voters and poll workers from COVID-19 transmission.

“This was from the Center For Tech and Civic Life for $10,092,” Frampton said. “It covered PPE and extra help that taxpayers do not have to pay to cover COVID-related safety.”

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