Audit. Here’s how it works. Colorado Sun

Confirming the legitimacy of the Colorado election begins with a game of dice.

On Monday morning, Staff of the Secretary of State’s office will meet to deliberate from 10 sides 20 times, and create a series of numbers, or “stubs,” to determine which ballot counties must check to confirm the accuracy of the 2020 elections.

It is the first step in what is called a risk reduction audit – a Procedure It compares the votes on the ballot papers with the results collected by the counting machines to look for discrepancies and correct the wrong tables. The audience can even Watch the live broadcast From meeting, another way to enhance transparency.

The provinces ended the vote count on Friday. Audit results Because of the state By November 24th.

“Every electoral administration in the United States aims to have safe and accurate elections,” said Hillary Ruddy, deputy director of elections in Colorado. “Auditing that reduces risks helps confirm that this is, in fact, happening.”

Colorado was the first state to request such revisions with a law passed in 2009. The statewide elections in November 2017 It was the first time any country had conducted an audit to reduce the risk to the vote count. The 2020 elections are the first for a general presidential election.

exist Two other countries Which in state law requires post-election risk reduction audits and nine additional states have the option to implement or have established pilot programs, according to the National Convention of State Legislatures, a bipartisan organization based in Denver.

Risk reduction audits are more time and cost effective than manual count audits, and are the other type of post-election auditing that states conduct, according to Neil Mac Burnett, a voting systems expert in Boulder who helped implement the first risk reduction audit.

“We use computers and / or infallible humans to schedule our ballot papers,” said McBrent. “With any process – especially one that uses computers and is at risk – we must double-check the results. It’s that easy.”

How does risk mitigation auditing work in Colorado

First, the dice are rolled, then the ballots are drawn with the corresponding numbers. County Councils of Checkers – each consisting of a Democrat and a Republican – review these ballot papers manually and inform the Secretary of State of the voter scores using the audit Software. If the scores on the ballot papers match the score recorded by the voting system, that is fine. If they don’t, the audit board compares the additional ballot papers until the result is confirmed. This is a comparison check to reduce risk.

Counties with outdated systems that do not read or issue the voting record use audits to reduce polling risk. This audit performs the same process, only ballot papers are compared to the reported winner sample rather than a voting system, similar to the exit day poll.

You want to take a statistical sample from the ballot papers and say, ‘Does that match the result? “That’s why we’re doing audits, in a nutshell.”

The review concludes when it finds strong evidence that the result is correct, or when it finds the opposite, prompting a full manual recount.

What is the purpose of checking after the election?

Ben Adida, CEO of the nonprofit VotingWorks, said Tuesday that you’re not running a risk reduction audit because there’s an issue. Web discussion. “It conducts risk-reducing audits to build more confidence in the outcome.”

Ahead of Colorado’s first risk reduction audit in 2017, the Secretary of State’s office randomly selected voting systems to conduct an audit, but did not extend the audit to a full count. This reduces the chance of finding incorrect results, let alone correcting them, according to US Election Assistance Committee. Risk reduction audits take into account the competition margins and errors discovered through the audit, resulting in at least an incorrect result, called a “risk limit”.

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Secretary of State Jenna Griswold Limit risk For these elections a rate of 4%, which means that the auditors will scan the ballot papers until there is a 96% chance that the review will achieve a correct result. In the 2018 elections, Limit It was 5%.

5% is the highest Allowed by law As for the statewide election, but Rudy said Griswold chose the lower number because the vetting process is relatively new and wanted lower risk limits for those first few audits.

“You start with the assumption that there must be an incorrect result, and you check until you refute or correct it,” said Rudi. “If we went through the first round and found enough contradictions that we did not meet the risk limit, then we run a second round and continue running until we meet the risk limit.”

Rudy said that in the state’s previous six reviews – the 2020 general election will be the seventh – the auditors found ballot discrepancies such as signatures and disparate circles instead of bubbles but there were no incorrect results.

While these audits rarely find incorrect results, Tami Patrick, senior election advisor at the Democracy Fund and a former county election official, said during the webinar, polling discrepancies may educate election officials about ways to improve voting instructions and polling layouts.

“Often times this was a problem, not the machine that misread the area the voter was supposed to define,” said Patrick.

This story is brought to you by Collab, Colorado News Cooperative, And Election SOS, a national program to support journalists during the 2020 elections. COLab is a non-profit coalition of more than 90 newsrooms across Colorado that work together to better serve the public, including The Colorado Sun.


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