Preparing for the Audit
Date, Time and Units to be Audited
During the Official Certification Board Meeting, the members of the board will randomly select a race to audit in addition to the contests mandated by the Secretary of State, if applicable. The board will also announce the date, time, and location the post-election audit will commence, the type of units (e.g., precinct, polling location, or voting unit) to be audited, and the type of audit.
Random Contest Selection
The specific method used to randomly select a contest to audit can vary depending on election jurisdiction. Some common methods of contest selection include:
- Using ping pong balls and a hopper, assign a contest to each ping pong ball, place all ping pong balls into the hopper, mix the ping pong balls together and select.
- Using a box and small slips of equal sized paper, assign a contest to each slip of paper, place all slips of paper into the box, mix the papers together and select.
Members of the public may observe any and all parts of the post-election audit. This includes the selection of which contests to audit, the selection of which units to audit, and the hand counting of the ballots. Observers may inspect any available documentation including voted ballots. However, they may not touch the voted ballots.
Audit Materials Available for Inspection
The following materials will be made available for inspection upon request of observers or members of the public:
- Receipts or other documents used to order or receive paper ballots that have been ordered from printers, including ballot stock used for ballot on demand machine ballot production, that show the total number of ballots and/or ballot stock ordered for the precincts included in the post-election audit (including absentee voting) to document an original number of ballots printed for each precinct included in the post-election audit. Photocopied ballots and ballot remakes should be included in this number and itemized as such per precinct that is included in the post-election audit;
- Documentation that shows the number of ballots voted, spoiled and unvoted, including absentee and provisional ballots and photocopied ballots and ballot remakes, with itemization by type of ballot per precinct that is included in the post-election audit;
- Documentation that shows for all absentee ballots and individually for the precincts included in the post-election audit, where applicable, subtotals of numbers by the type of absentee ballot (regular absentee, provisional absentee, military absentee and overseas absentee) for each total:
- The number of absentee ballots printed, whether by a printer or through ballot on demand,
- The number of absentee ballots mailed, e-mailed, and faxed,
- The number of absentee ballots voted in person,
- The number of absentee ballots returned unvoted,
- The number of absentee ballots returned voted,
- The number of absentee ballots returned voted but returned and/or received after the applicable statutory deadline,
- The number of absentee ballots rejected and not counted, even if returned,
- The number of absentee ballots with ID envelopes containing errors that prevented the counting of such ballots, and
- The number of absentee ballots, the ID envelopes containing errors corrected by a voter within the 10-day period after the election and able to be counted;
- Documentation that shows the number of provisional ballots printed, whether by a printer or through ballot on demand, the number of provisional ballots voted, and the number of provisional ballots that were supplemented by the voter with required ID, within the 10-day period after the election;
- Documentation that shows: (1) whether the office type ballot and any other ballot containing races or issues that are also the subject of the post-election audit was programmed in-house and by whom, or through an outside service such as an agent of a voting machine manufacturer or servicing company and by which individual(s); and (2) when programming took place and how many times programming occurred for the machines in question for the election;
- Documentation that shows when and by whom the voting machines of precincts and/or multi-precinct polling locations randomly selected for the post-election audit in question were logic and accuracy tested; and
- Any chain of custody logs for the ballots, poll worker reconciliation results, and board of elections reconciliation results.
If after the audit is complete, the board of elections determines the original certified election results are found to be inaccurate, the official results will be amended and the Secretary of State’s office notified immediately. A summary of the post-election audit summary and the completed “Post-Election Audit Spreadsheet” will be posted to the official Board of Elections website.