Election Audits

Only DC and Massachusetts let the public see ballot markings during audit, to verify staff accuracy. Version 10/15/20, send corrections to admin@votewell.net

Tips on observing all steps in the election.

 

State

Method of Auditing Ballots

Number of Contests Audited

Sample Size

Do Audits Revise Election Outcomes?

Level of Discrepancy to Trigger Action

Action if Discrepancy

State Gets Report?

Law

Rules

Alabama

No audit

None

 

 

Alaska

Hand count, except small precincts

All contests

1 precinct per House district, with at least 5% of district ballots, so about 600 registered voters

Revise outcomes

1%

Expand sample to whole district (1/40th of state), all races

State gets report

Alaska Stat. 15.15.430

Arizona

Hand count

5-President, random federal, random state-wide, random legislative, ballot measure

at least 2% of precincts or 2 precincts

Revise outcomes

Statistical committee chooses cutoffs

Expand sample, up to whole county, for affected office

State gets report

Ariz. Rev. Stat. 16-602

Arkansas

No audit

None

 

 

California

Hand count, except no audit of ballots tallied after election day

All contests

1% of precincts or machines

Not revise outcomes

No rules

Report

State gets report

Cal. Elec. Code 336.5, 15360 (West 2015)

Colorado

Hand count

In each county: 1 contest in general election, 1 per party in primary, non-randomly chosen by Sec. of State

risk-limiting. 5% of machines, in sampled machines, 20% of ballots if machine has 1-500 ballots, otherwise lesser of 5% or 500 ballots

Maybe

Statistical cutoffs

Investigate + decide

State gets report

Colo. Rev. Stat. 1-7-515

Colo. Sec. of State Election Rule 25

Connecticut

Count with machines or by hand

3-President or Governor and 2 other races; 20% of races in primaries and municipal ballots

5% of voting districts

Maybe

0.50%

Investigate and if needed recount county with mix of hand and machine counts

State gets report

Conn. Gen. Stat. 9-320f

Delaware

No audit

None

 

 

District of Columbia

Hand count

4-random District-wide, 2-ward-wide, 1 any type

5% of precincts + ballots

Revise outcomes

0.25% or 20% of margin of victory

Expand sample, up to whole county, for affected office

State gets report

D.C. Code Ann. 1-1001.09a

Florida

Count with machines, independent of election, or by hand

all by machine, or 1 by hand, randomly chosen by each county

20%-100% of precincts by machine or 2% by hand

Not revise outcomes

No rules

Report

State gets report

Fla. Stat. Ann. 101.591

Georgia

No audit

None

 

 

Hawaii

Hand count, except early and absentee ballots

3-state-wide, county-wide, district-wide

10% of precincts

Maybe

Any

Expand audit until staff are satisfied with results

State gets report

Hawaii Rev. Stat. 16-42, Haw. Admin. Rules 3-172-102

Idaho

No audit

None

 

 

Idaho Code 34-2313

Illinois

Count with machines the optical ballots, which are common, others by hand or different machine from election

All contests

5% of precincts + machines

Not revise outcomes

Any

Report

State gets report

Il. Rev. Stat. ch. 10 5/24A-15, 10 5/24C-15

Indiana

If requested by party chair, hand count paper ballots or use machine different from voting system, but many voters lack paper ballots

All contests

up to 5% of precincts or 5 precincts

Revise outcomes

No rules

Correct errors

No

Indiana Code 3-12-5-14, 3-11-13-39

Iowa

Hand count

1-President or Governor

?

Not revise outcomes

No rules

Report

State gets report

HB 516, enacted in 2017

Kansas

No audit, though most voters have paper ballots

None

 

 

Kentucky

Hand count paper ballots, but many counties use paperless machines

All contests

3% to 5% of precincts

Revise outcomes

No rules

Correct errors

State gets report

Ky. Rev. Stat. 117.383

Louisiana

No audit, and the state lacks paper ballots

None

 

 

Maine

No audit, though all voters have paper ballots.

None

 

 

Maryland

Independent machines re-count ballot images from election machines

All contests

100%

Revise outcomes

Any

Investigate and resolve

State gets report

Code of Md. Regs. 33.08.05

Massachusetts

Hand count

6-President, state and national Senator and Representative, random ballot question

3% of precincts

Maybe

Cast doubt on outcome

Sec. of State may expand audit

State gets report

Mass. Gen. Law Ann. ch. 54 109A

Michigan

No audit

None

 

 

Minnesota

Hand count

2-3-Governor + federal

3% of precincts or at least 2-4 precincts

Revise outcomes

0.5% or 2 votes

Expand samples to whole county, and if counties with 10% of state's ballots discover problems, hand-count affected race statewide

State gets report

Minn. Stat. Ann. 206.89

Mississippi

No audit, and most counties lack paper ballots

None

 

 

Missouri

Hand count

5-state-wide candidate + ballot issue, legislator, judicial, county

5% of precincts

Maybe

0.50%

Investigate and resolve

State gets report

15 Mo. Code of State Regs. 30-10.110

Montana

Hand count

4-random federal, state-wide, legislative, ballot measure

at least 5% of precincts or 1 precinct

Revise outcomes

0.5% or 5 votes

Expand sample but not full recount except in small counties with up to 6 precincts. Check machines with errors

State gets report

Mont. Code Ann. 13-17-503

Nebraska

If requested by Sec of State, method unclear

3

2% of precincts

Maybe

Unclear

Report

State gets report

Nevada

Count with machines or by hand

All contests

2% or 3% of machines

Maybe

No rules

No rules

State gets report

Nev. Admin. Code 293.255, Nev. Rev. Stat. 293.247

New Hampshire

No audit

None

 

 

New Jersey

No audit, and many voters lack paper ballots

None

 

 

N.J. Stat. Ann. 19:61-9

New Mexico

Hand count

3-4: federal, governor + closest statewide race

none in race with over 15% margin of victory, otherwise 4-165 precincts in whole state

Revise outcomes

error over 90% of the margin of victory

Expand sample, up to whole state for affected office

State gets report

N.M. Stat. Ann. 1-14-13.2 et seq.

New York

Count with machines different from voting system or by hand

All contests

3% of machines

Revise outcomes

Any

Expand sample in stages to full recount. Unclear if just the affected office

State gets report

N.Y. Election Law 9-211 (McKinney 2015)

9 N.Y. Comp. Rules & Regs. 6210.18

North Carolina

Hand count

1-President or state-wide ballot item

statistician decides

Revise outcomes

"Significant"

Expand sample to whole county, all races

No

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. 163-182.1

North Dakota

No audit

None

 

 

Ohio

Hand count

3-President, random state-wide, random county-wide, in general elections in even-numbered years

machines, precincts or polling places withat least 5% of votes

Revise outcomes

0.5% (0.2% if margin under 1%)

Expand sample. Sec. of State may order full recount of county

State gets report

Secretary of State Directive 2014-36,[3] 2015 Election Official Manual

settlement agreement in League of Women Voters, et al. v. Brunner, Case No. 3:05-CV-7309, US N.District of Ohio

Oklahoma

No audit, though voters without disabilities have paper ballots; voters with disabilities do not

None

 

 

Oregon

Hand count, except small precincts

2-3-heaviest vote in each county, statewide office + ballot measure

3% to 10% of big precincts (150+ votes) depending on margin of victory

Revise outcomes

0.50%

Expand sample to whole county for that vote tally system, all races

State gets report

Or. Rev. Stat. 254.529

Pennsylvania

Hand count

All contests

lesser of 2% or 2,000 ballots

Maybe

No rules

No rules

No

Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 25 3031.17

Directive Concerning the Use, Implementation and Operation of Electronic Voting Systems

Rhode Island

Hand count

Some

risk-limiting

Revise outcomes

Statistical cutoffs

Expand sample to full recount

Rules not yet published

R.I. Stat. Ann. 17-19-37.4

South Carolina

No audit

None

 

 

South Dakota

No audit

None

 

 

Tennessee

Count paper ballots with same method as election day, different optical scanner, but many voters lack paper ballots

1-President or Governor in general

1 to 5 precincts

Not revise outcomes

1%

Expand sample to 3% of precincts. Then no action, but audit is evidence in court

No

Tenn. Code Ann. 2-20-103

Texas

No audit on paperless machines, which many counties use, hand count otherwise

6-Sec. of State chooses 3 races + 3 ballot items

at least 1% of precincts or 3 precincts, not paperless machines

Maybe

Any

Determine cause

State gets report

Tex. Election Code Ann. 127.201 (Vernon 2015)

Election Advisory No. 2012-03

Utah

Hand count

All contests

1% of machines

Not revise outcomes

Any

Record reasons

State gets report

Election Policy Directive from the Office of the Lieutenant Governor

Vermont

Each town counts with same method as election day, optical scan or hand count. Sec.of State randomly picks 6 towns to scan & machine-count all contests[38]

Unknown by county. All by Sec.of State

?

Not revise outcomes

Any

Investigate

State gets report

17 Vt. Stat. Ann. 2493, 2581 - 2588

Virginia

Hand count, except early and absentee ballots

Some

risk-limiting

Not revise outcomes

Any

Analyze

State gets report

Code of VA 24.2-671.1

Washington

If parties agree or county auditor requires, then hand count sample of mail ballots, which are the vast majority

1

up to 3 precincts or 6 batches

Maybe

Any

investigate + resolve

State gets report

Wash. Rev. Code Ann. 29A.60.185, 29A.60.170

West Virginia

Hand count

All contests

3% of precincts

Revise outcomes

1% or changed outcome

Expand sample to whole county, all races

No

W. Va. Code, 3-4A-28

2016 Best Practices Guide for Canvass and Recount

Wisconsin

Hand count, except early and absentee ballots

4-President or Governor, and 3 random state contests, only in general

100 wards in whole state

Not revise outcomes

Any

If no explanation, get manufacturer to investigate

State gets report

Wis. Stat. Ann. 7.08(6)

Wisconsin Elections Commission Voting Equipment Audits

Wyoming

No audit

None

 

 

Sources:

https://www.verifiedvoting.org/state-audit-laws/ (temporarily offline)

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/post-election-audits635926066.aspx#state

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB840

https://www.elections.maryland.gov/press_room/documents/PostElectionTabulationAuditLegislativeReport.pdf