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LaRose Highlights Innovative New Way to Ensure Election Accuracy

COLUMBUS – This week, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose highlighted a more efficient and accurate audit type, designed to ensure election accuracy. The Defiance County Board of Elections will be one of two pilot counties in Ohio to utilize the risk-limiting audit (RLA). 

RLAs function similarly to a public poll, where voters are polled from a random sampling. With RLAs, election officials will statistically sample ballots and manually verify the results to determine the accuracy of the outcome of a contested race. Not only are RLAs more efficient, they more fairly consider the full scope of the race in question.

TABLE: Current percentage based audit vs risk-limited audit
Ohio Percentage Based Audit Risk-Limiting Audit
Board of elections selects units to be audited (precincts, polling locations or individual machines) and randomly selects sufficient units to ensure review of 5% of the total votes cast for the county. Ballots are randomly selected based on statistical sampling using two key factor: margin of victory for the audited contest(s) and risk limit.
At least three contests as follows: 1) top of the ticket, 2) statewide race selected at random by the Secretary, and 3) at least one non-statewide race selected by the board of elections. At least three contests as follows: 1) top of the ticket, 2) statewide race selected at random by the Secretary, and 3) at least one non-statewide race selected by the board of elections.
The audit of voted ballots will reinforce accuracy and security of the voting system. Provides strong statistical evidence that the reported winner is the winner and that the loser is the loser.

“The eyes of the world are going to be on Ohio next year. As elections officials, it’s so important for us to make sure that when the voters go to bed on Election Night they know that the results were honest and that their voice was heard,” said LaRose. “One of the important ways that we can help bolster that confidence is through this post-election auditing process, and in many ways a risk-limiting audit is the best way to do that.”

In Ohio, post-election audits are normally required to be conducted following each general election in an even-numbered year and after each presidential primary election. However, with the implementation of new voting equipment in many Ohio counties in 2019, Secretary LaRose directed all boards of elections to conduct a post-election audit in order to further validate election results.

Click here to view Secretary LaRose's opening remarks as Defiance County launches their RLA pilot.

 

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Maggie Sheehan
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