Vermont Secretary Of State's Office To Audit Election Results From 6 Towns

Nov 23, 2016

On Tuesday, Vermont's Elections Division will be conducting audits of 2016 general election results for a randomly selected group of towns.

Six towns — Alburgh, Hartland, Highgate, Huntington, Rutland Town and Vernon — will have their election results audited.

The Secretary of State's office has audited every general election since 2006.

“We randomly select six towns from around the state and … conduct an independent count of the ballots from the general election for comparison from the count that came off the tabulator on election night,” said Will Senning, director of elections in the Secretary of State's office.

Senning said they’ll be using scanners from the company Clear Ballot Group to conduct the audit.

“It scans and takes an image of all the ballots from each of the towns on election night, and the scanner produces its own count that can be compared to the one from the tabulators,” Senning said.

The scanners were used for the first time in the last election, and they have a couple of advantages, according to Senning.

“We used to do four [towns] for the first number of years … With the new technology the last couple of years, it’s enabled us to do an additional two towns, so we’re up to six,” Senning said. “Another benefit of it is it allows us to audit every race. So we get a count of every race on the ballot for comparison. Whereas in the past we were only doing four towns and a only a couple of individuals races from each of those elections.”

Senning said past audits have “consistently shown the [voting] machines to be very accurate.”

The audit will take place at 10 a.m. at the Pavilion Building Auditorium in Montpelier.

“Conducting the random audit of vote tabulator results is an integral part of performing checks and balances of our voting system,” said Secretary of State Jim Condos in a written statement. “As Vermont’s Chief Election Officer, I take this duty seriously and welcome the opportunity to verify our elections continue to be fair and accurate.”