Has this been done before?
November 2011 will be the eighth major observation for the Coalition in Connecticut. In the fall of 2011, seventy-five volunteers observed close to fifty audits. We have benefited by the generous sharing of materials from a program conducted by the Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota.
How many volunteer observes are needed?
We would like to have a minimum of two observers at each audit, preferably three. To fully cover the August and November audits we will need at least double the observers who signed-up for last November..
Should I sign-up online or mail?
If at all possible sign up online. It will save us time and ensure your data is entered correctly. With an e-mail address we will be able to keep you updated more efficiently. If you cannot signup online, please sign-up by regular mail.
What are the benefits to observers?
Past programs indicate the greatest benefit is the opportunity to participate in democracy and the election process. Participants will gain a greater appreciation for the election process and the work of election staff. You will also have the feelings of pride from contribution to assuring election integrity in Connecticut.
How are the municipalities and districts to be audited selected?
After the election, the Secretary of the State holds a public random drawing to select 10% of the districts in the election to be audited. Many towns will not have districts selected. Larger towns may have three or four districts selected. Typically forty to fifty municipalities will be selected — the random drawing determines the actual number.
When and where will the audits be conducted?
The Registrars in each municipality decide the date, time, and place of the audit. This year, by law, the audits must be conducted between Wednesday November 23rd and early December. The coalition will work with the Secretary of the State’s office and the registrars to determine the dates, times, and locations of the audits.
Why can’t I attend the audit session in my own city/town?
All audits are open to the public, so you can certainly attend the audit in your town if you are available and your town is selected. The coalition’s goal is to have at least two observers who are not residents of the municipality being audited, to add to the objectivity and perception of objectivity of the feedback obtained. Remember most towns will not be selected for audit.
How long will the audit sessions last?
The audits will vary in length. It depends primarily in this election on the number of votes to be counted in each municipality and the number of election officials. We are requesting that volunteers commit to being available for at least one day. The sign-up form asks you to list dates when you can be available – the more dates you specify the more likely we will be able to provide the opportunity for you to participate and the more of the audit sessions we will be able to observe.
What time commitment is expected of volunteers?
We are asking volunteers to commit to being at one audit and to call in to one one-hour conference call training. When you sign-up, you tell us which days you will agree to be available to participate in the audit. We also ask how far from your residence you are willing to drive to observe an audit. Expect audits to last from five to eight hours from the time they start. Please provide dates when you can be available to be in another town from 9:00am to 9:00pm.
When will I find out my assignment?
Our goal is to have all the dates, times, and locations of the audits as soon as we can. Although the audits are public, there are no advanced notice requirements in the law. The Secretary of the State’s procedures require three days notice. We will be asking the registrars involved to provide dates well in advance of the audit. We will notify you as soon as we can, but sometimes there is only a short notice. We will understand if you cannot attend an audit on short notice, or something important has com
e up after you signed up.
When will the training be held and when will I receive the Observer’s Kit?
This year we are planning several live trainings across the state. As usual, we are planning several one hour conference call training sessions in the last few days before the audits begin on November 18th - some will occur during the day and some in the evening – you will not need a reservation, just call into one of the sessions. The Observer’s Kit will contain an audit report form with instructions, a copy of the code of conduct, and a copy of the official audit procedures. We will finalize and make the kit available shortly after the audit procedures are released by the Secretary of the State’s Office. We will also be mailing name badges to observers to arrive by November 22nd.
How far will I have to drive?
When you sign-up you will specify the distance you are willing to travel. We estimate the distance from your town to the audit – we may ask you to go a little farther if nobody else is available, but will not expect you to agree. The more dates you can be available and the farther you are willing to travel, the more likely we will be able to find an audit for you to observe – and the more likely we will be able to cover all the audits after the election.