By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut’s tight race for governor, which came under close scrutiny after Bridgeport poll workers ran out of ballots on Election Day, has been selected as one of several state races that will undergo a post-election audit.
Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz said Monday that it makes sense to review the machine totals in the race, which Democrat Dan Malloy won by nearly 7,000 votes, given the closeness of the results.
Seventy-four randomly selected precincts across Connecticut were tapped to conduct the election audit. The other statewide races to be audited include attorney general and the state Senate. It’s part of a regular post-election review, required by state law.
“Record numbers of Connecticut residents cast ballots on Nov. 2, and we don’t just take the machines’ word for it,” Bysiewicz said. “So we will have every ballot cast in a full 10 percent of all our precincts hand-counted and matched against the machine totals.”
The process, which must take place between Wednesday and Nov. 22, will be conducted in public.
Meanwhile, elections officials in the city of Bridgeport have also agreed to audit their results in 12 precincts where some voters left after ballots ran out and had to be photocopied, and where a judge ordered the polling places to remain open for two extra hours to give voters time to return to the polls
“We think this will put to rest any questions about those results in Bridgeport,” Bysiewicz said. Printed ballots that were scanned into the machines and photocopied ballots will be hand counted, she said.
A panel set up by Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch to examine the city’s voting problems during the election has scheduled a public hearing for Tuesday evening, where the members expect to hear firsthand accounts from voters.
Even though the secretary of the state’s office recommends election officials order ballots for each registered voter, Bridgeport ordered only 21,000 ballots for its 69,000 registered voters. Sandi Ayala, Bridgeport’s Democratic registrar of voters, has said the city didn’t order enough ballots in part because of the cost.
Hartford had a ballot shortage, too, although on a much smaller scale, Bysiewicz said.
Cost estimates for each ballot range from 35 cents to $1. Connecticut has about 2 million registered voters.
Bysiewicz said she supports proposed legislation that would require every municipality to order at least enough ballots for every registered voter and to have the expense covered by the state’s public campaign financing program. In years past, the federal government or the state has picked up the tab.
Lesley Mara, the deputy secretary of the state, said she’s not aware of any other state with optical scan voting machines that requires cities and towns to order a certain percentage of ballots.
Under current Connecticut law, Bysiewicz said she has no authority to require local election officials to order a certain number of ballots.
“I think that’s the lesson of this election,” she said.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
The following districts will be hand-counted:
Bethel Frank A Berry School District 5
New Britain Generale Ameglio Society District 7
Waterbury St. Peter & Paul School Gym 16 District 74
Granby Granby Memorial High School District 1
Plainville Wheeler School District 4
Killingly South Killingly Fire Station District 3
Montville Town Hall Gym District 6
Hartford Burns School District 9
Stratford Second Hill Lane 120 District 100
Danbury Danbury High School Gym Ward 1 District 1
Southbury Sacred Heart Church District 2
New Haven Firehouse Woodward Ward 17 District 17
Sprague Baltic Fire House District 1
New Milford Catherine E Lillis Building District 2
Southbury The Jewish Center District 4
Middletown Farm Hill School District 11
Greenwich North Mianus School District 12
Colchester Bacon Academy Cafeteria District 1
Mansfield Mansfield Library/Buchanan Auditorium District 3
Seymour Paul Chatfield School District 3
Wilton Driscoll School District 2
Ansonia First Congregational Church Ward 2 District 2 Precinct 2
East Haven East Farm Village 1-S District 1
Southington Derynoski Elementary School District 3
Cheshire Norton School District 4
Newington Anna Reynolds School District 3
New Britain Graham Apartments District 5-2 District 5
East Haven Hays School District 5
Fairfield Dwight School District 3
Stratford Bunnell High School 120 District 90
Hartford Achievement 1st Hartford Academy District 1
Milford Harborside Middle School District 5 District 529
Thompson Quinebaug Volunteer Fire Department District 3
Waterbury Edward D Bergin Apartments District 72
West Haven City Hall Voting District 4 District 1
Preston Town Hall District 1
Norwalk Kendall School Voting District A3 District 140
Greenwich Town Hall District 2
Madison District 2 North
Hartford South End Senior Wellness Center District 13
Orange Mary L Tracy School District 1
Fairfield Osborn School 133 District 4
Thomaston Town Hall – Lena Morton Gallery District 1
Bloomfield Firehouse Number 3 District 5
Kent Town Hall District 1
Hamden Dunbar Hill School District 7
Stafford West Stafford Fire Department District 3
East Hartford Langford School District 2
New Britain New Britain Senior Center District 5
Meriden Meriden Community Towers Area 1 District 12
Danbury War Memorial Gym Ward 5 District 5 Precinct 10
Enfield JFK Middle School District 1 District 2
Branford Community House Voting District 1, Precinct 0 District 1
Groton West Side Middle School District 2
Middletown Woodrow Wilson Middle School District 3
Stratford Wilcoxson School 120 District 70
New Haven New Horizons School District 6 Precinct 2
Stamford Julia A Stark School District 11
Norwich Stanton School District 8
Simsbury Henry James Memorial School District 1
Windsor Locks Windsor Locks High School District 2
Mansfield Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building District 1
Plainfield 4 Atwood Hose Station District 4
Lyme Lyme fire House District 1
Southington Reuben Thalberg Elementary School District 9
Ashford Knowlton Town Hall District 1
Danbury Pembroke School Gym Ward 2 District 2
Berlin Senior Center District 4
Newington Elizabeth Green School District 4
Torrington Armory District 8
Wallingford Evarts G. Stevens School District 2
Plainville Our Lady of Mercy Parrish Hall District 2
Milford Orange Avenue School District 1-2 District 127
Tolland Hicks – Town Hall District 2
List of Polling Precincts in Bridgeport with extended hours on Election Day November 2, 2010:
- Beardsley School, 500 Huntington Avenue;
- Read Middle School, 130 Ezra Street;
- Central High School, 1 Lincoln Blvd.;
- John Winthrop School, 85 Eckart St.;
- Hallen School, Division St.;
- Thomas Hooker School, Roger Williams Rd.;
- Black Rock School, 545 Brewster St.;
- John F. Kennedy Campus, 700 Palisade Ave.;
- Blackham School, 425 Thorme St.;
- Park City Magnet School, 1526 Chopsey Hill Rd.;
- City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace; and
- Longfellow School, 139 Ocean Terrace.