Last week’s town voting audit went off without a hitch, but interestingly, that state-required audit was at cost to the town.
The cost will be “approximately under $800,” said Carol Young-Kleinfel of the Wilton Registrar of Voters and Elections Department. This money is used to pay Wilton’s municipal workers involved in evaluating the audit.
The town budgets for one audit a year since 2006, the year that optical-scan voting machines were used. During that year, 26 towns in Connecticut were audited but also reimbursed thanks to the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). However, HAVA does not guarantee reimbursement.
“We’re not planning on being reimbursed this year,” said Young-Kleinfeld.
However, it’s possible that Wilton could be audited twice in one year; since the 2006 audit, Wilton has only been audited once a year.
“Post-election audits on electronic voting machines are very important. You want to make sure all the votes are counted,” said Young-Kleinfeld.
“Our voting machines are programmed new before every election….but just because they have performed will in the past, it doesn’t mean that there can’t be new errors in the program,” she said.
Last week, Wilton’s audit performed perfectly, with every vote having been accounted for accurately.
“Every single vote was on target,” said Young-Kleinfield.
That towns have to pay for these mandated audits comes from this Connecticut Statute 9-320f states:
"Any election official who participates in the administration and conduct of an audit pursuant to this section shall be compensated by the municipality at the standard rate of pay established by such municipality for elections or primaries, as the case may be."
A special thanks to Wilton’s State Rep. Gail Lavielle for providing the statute information above.