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'The General Overall Picture is That the Machines are Working'

Monroe will audit three of its four voting districts as part of a statewide audit.

Now that Election Day has passed, the Secretary of the State's Office is conducting routine audits of voting machines throughout Connecticut to ensure votes were tabulated accurately.

On Nov. 6, districts were randomly selected through a lottery and 73 precincts out of 726 state districts, were chosen. Of those, three of Monroe's four polling places are included.

Susan Koneff, Democratic Registrar of Voters for Monroe, said, "Since they figured out how to do these audits, we had done them three or four times. The most we ever had were two districts. It is very unusual for us to have three."

By contrast, only one polling place was chosen from the city of Bridgeport, according to a press release from Secretary of the State Denise Merrill's office.

This audit is part of a state-mandated audit of 10 percent of the polling places in
Connecticut.

The Monroe Registrars' of Voters will conduct an audit of Districts 1, 2,
and 3's machine counted ballots on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The
hand counting of the ballots will take place in the Edith Wheeler Library community room, 733 Monroe Turnpike, at 9 a.m. The counting is open to the public.

Counting votes by hand to compare them to machine results for even one district can be time consuming, according to Koneff.

"One polling place took us until 12:30, 1 o'clock," she said of the process that begins at 9 a.m. "With three, we'll have to hire more people and I expect it will take from 4 to 5 o'clock to finish counting."

In addition to Koneff and Republican Registrar Jeanette Benson, Karen Burnaska, the head moderator during Monroe's municipal election, will participate in the audit, Koneff said.

Monroe's voting machines are approximately six years old, according to Koneff.

In most cases, she said counts are only off by a few votes and usually due to human error, Koneff said. Of the usual state findings, she said, "The general overall picture is that the machines are working."

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