A Guide for Public Oversight of Tabulation Audits


A healthy democracy depends on public confidence in elections. Post-election audits can build public confidence in the outcome of the election if they provide reasonable assurance that the reported outcomes are correct. When people take the trouble to observe the audits, they witness the procedures that are aimed at confirming election results, and public confidence in electoral outcomes is strengthened.

Among the various kinds of post-election audits, one crucial type is a tabulation audit. In the United States, 99% of votes are tabulated by computers -- computers decide what selections each voter intended, and computers add up the vote totals. A tabulation audit is a routine check on the accuracy of the computer tabulations. This guide is designed to help groups and individuals who wish to observe tabulation audits.

You’ll learn a lot and help safeguard democracy even if all you do is show up to watch the auditing process. If you choose to go beyond showing up, this guide will help you make your oversight efforts as effective as possible.

Verified Voting, a non-partisan, not-for-profit organization working toward security, accuracy, integrity and verifiability of elections, has resources to support your election oversight project.

Please visit VerifiedVoting.org, or contact them at audit@verifiedvoting.org to let them know what you are learning about your local audit process.

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