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Danbury votes to be audited

Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Time: 3:36 PM

In an effort to make sure that the new optical scanning machines worked properly, today, Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz ordered the following voting districts in Danbury to be audited.
Shelter Rock School Gym - Ward 4
War Memorial Gym - Ward 5
Park Avenue School Gym - Ward 6
Mill Ridge Intermediate School - Ward 7

Secretary of State Bysiewicz's office issued the following release:
In preparation for the November 4, 2008 General Election and to ensure Connecticut’s optical scan voting machines are working accurately, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz has ordered the primary results of one-third (1/3) of the voting precincts used on August 12, 2008 to be audited. Sec. Bysiewicz was joined by voting rights advocates and elections officials from across Connecticut at a news conference at the State Capitol on Tuesday August 19th to randomly select the voting precincts which will have election results audited – as required by Public Act 07-194, An Act Concerning the Integrity and Security of the Voting Process.

The audits can begin no sooner than August 27, 2008 and must be completed by September 10, 2008.

“Auditing election results isn’t just a good idea, it’s absolutely essential in order to guarantee the integrity of our elections,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “As Connecticut prepares for perhaps its highest turnout election in a generation, it is important voters have faith that their vote will be recorded accurately and that’s why the independent audits are so vital.”

[...]

The law requires a hand audit 10% of all polling places in all elections and primaries. (Polling precincts which are already part of a recount are exempt from audits by statute). The provisions in the law, developed in close cooperation with the computer science department at the University of Connecticut , give Connecticut one of the strictest audit statutes in the country. Connecticut is the first state in New England to require a comprehensive audit of election results.

Public Act 07-194 states that local 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. Such manual audit shall be noticed in advance and be open to public observation.” The results of audits will be analyzed by the University of Connecticut and then presented to the Secretary of the State’s Office and the State Elections Enforcement Commission, and ultimately made available to the public.

The law contains a detailed description of the audit process:

“The manual audit… shall consist of the manual tabulation of the paper ballots cast and counted by each voting machine subject to such audit. Once complete, the vote totals established pursuant to the manual tabulation shall be compared to the results reported by the voting machine on the day of the election or primary. The results of the manual tabulation shall be reported on a form prescribed by the Secretary of the State which shall include the total number of ballots counted, the total votes received by each candidate in question, the total votes received by each candidate in question on ballots that were properly completed by each voter and the total votes received by each candidate in question on ballots that were not properly completed by each voter. Such report shall be filed with the Secretary of the State who shall immediately forward such report to The University of Connecticut for analysis. The University of Connecticut shall file a written report with the Secretary of the State regarding such analysis that describes any discrepancies identified. After receipt of such report, the Secretary of the State shall file such report with the State Elections Enforcement Commission.”

Let's be clear here...the audit is being done NOT because there was a problem with the optical scanning machines. The Secretary is doing an random audit to make sure there was no problem with the machines in general. This is nothing new as Secretary Bysiewicz has done audits after every election since the start of the use of the new machines. It's that this is the first time the machines in Danbury were selected to be audited.

Usually, CT-N cover the audit press conference and if they did, I'll catch it and post it at a later date.

posted by ctblogger at 3:36 PM | Permalink|

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

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