Accuracy of any election result should be verified by an audit of paper ballots, which should be the official record of any election. An audit should include a randomly chosen, statistically significant portion of those ballots and be conducted using human verifiable data (as opposed to bar codes).
We advocate for the following principles for audit standards to be used with the new voting system:
- Audits should be required and open to the public with sufficient notice published on the Secretary of State’s website and each county’s website
- Audits should be risk limiting – audit techniques should be statistically based and randomly selected for both machines and polling locations
- Audits should be conducted after every election (general, run off, special) and completed before the Secretary of State certifies the election
- Based upon the number of counties in Georgia and the vast differences in population among the counties, a State Election Audit committee should be created consisting of representatives of each party, a member of the state election board, computer scientists and citizens through a self-nomination process. Term limits should be established to ensure maximum participation.
- The Board of Elections for each county should establish a county election audit committee consisting of representatives of each party, computer scientists and citizens through a self-nomination process. Term limits should be established to ensure maximum participation.
- Any software used in the process should be open source and open for public inspection.
- A full hand recount in the polling locations in which there is a discrepancy of .5% variance between the original count and the audit count should be required.
- Counties should continue to perform pre-election logic and accuracy testing. Procedural audits should be conducted at regular intervals with groups of counties on a rotating basis to ensure that the human process is functioning appropriately.
- If problems are discovered, the public should be notified via the Secretary of State’s website and the impacted county’s website within 7 business days of such discovery.
- Any candidates on the ballot should not be involved in conducting the audit with the exception of observing the audit process.