At the instigation of Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz, they are going to voluntarily count the votes again at the dozen polling places in Bridgeport that ran out of ballots on election day.

The new count is not an official recount, so what’s the point?

“Since this was such a close election and there was so much focus on Bridgeport, we thought it would put questions to rest if there was a hand count during the day with the public invited and media invited to attend to make sure that we can all in the state have confidence in the results,” Bysiewicz said today.

It is unclear whose questions the exercise will put to rest, since the Republican gubernatorial nominee, Tom Foley, said his own investigation convinced him that Democrat Dan Malloy “conclusively” won the race for governor, despite a chaotic election day in Bridgeport.

Bysiewicz held a press conference today to randomly pick 74 polling places whose ballots will be hand counted in a post-election audit to test the accuracy of the optical scanners that count votes in Connecticut.

The votes cast for governor, attorney general and state senator will be subjected to the audit. Bysiewicz chose the race for governor, since it was so close. The races for attorney general and state senator were picked at random.

One of the polling places picked at random out of a barrel was the Farm Hill School in Middletown, where Bysiewicz votes.

The post-election audits are required by state law. The request for another count in Bridgeport has no basis in law, and Bysiewicz acknowledged having no easy means to reflect in the official results anything turned up in the new count

“The official results are the ones on the head moderator’s return. We have already received that,” Bysiewicz said. “Unless something extraordinary happens, I don’t expect it to change.”

(UPDATE: For good reason, it won’t change. Bridgeport is refusing her request to count the ballots again.)

On Tuesday, a panel formed by Mayor Bill Finch will hold a hearing about the ballot shortage at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Annex.

Vote audit

Bysiewicz directing the selection of precincts to be audited.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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