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Ohio Sec. Of State Launches Post-Election Audits

For Immediate Release
November 14, 2008

Secretary Brunner Launches Post-Election Audits

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Building on a successful pilot project after the March primary, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has launched statewide post-election audits for the general election. The post-election audits will assist bipartisan boards of elections in solidifying public confidence after a very successful general election.

Secretary Brunner’s post-election audit directive is based on feedback from Ohio’s boards of elections, as well as insight from local, state, and national elections experts.

“After the March primary, 11 Ohio counties took part in a post-election audit pilot and provided invaluable insight into this national best practice. I am thankful for the hard work and assistance of elections officials and experts in crafting a detailed statewide process to further document the success of the general election,” secretary Brunner said.

The Secretary of State’s office has spent approximately six months receiving and reviewing feedback on the March post-election audit pilot projects. Key stakeholders have included members and staff of Ohio’s bipartisan boards of elections, members of the Secretary of State’s Voting Rights Institute council, and other local, state and national election experts.

To assist boards with staffing and budget constraints, the statewide post-election audit directive reduces the initial audit to 5 percent of the votes cast for president – down from 7% in the March pilot project. The directive also provides greater confidence in the audit results by allowing observers and member of the general public to be present during the auditing process.

Highlights of the post-election audit directive:

-Boards must audit precincts equal to 5 percent of the county-wide votes cast for president – a reduction from 7 percent in the March audit.
-Random selection for precincts to be audited is more detailed, relieving boards of the burden of developing a policy for the selections and providing more statewide consistency.
-The audit process must be completely transparent, while keeping secure any sensitive voter information and ballots.
-There is a “trigger” provision which requires boards to audit additional precinct results if a certain margin of error is exceeded in the initial audit of 5%. The trigger for additional auditing remains the same as the pilot project, due to support for that standard expressed by boards of elections.
-The results of the audits will be available to the public.

ENDS

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