CHAPTER 8.5. Postcanvass Risk-Limiting Audit Pilot Program [15560. - 15560.]

Law Codes -> Elections Code -> Article 15560 to 15560

  • 15560.

    (a)The Secretary of State is authorized to establish a postcanvass risk-limiting audit pilot program in five or more counties to improve the accuracy of, and public confidence in, election results. The Secretary of State is encouraged to include urban and rural counties; counties from northern, central, and southern California; and counties with various different voting systems.

    (b)The pilot program described in subdivision (a) shall be conducted as follows:

    (1)During the year 2011, each county that chooses to participate in the pilot program shall conduct a postcanvass risk-limiting audit of one or more contests after each election in that county.

    (2)An elections official conducting an audit pursuant to this section shall do all of the following:

    (A)Provide at least a five-day public notice of the time and place of the random selection of the audit units to be manually tallied and of the time and place of the audit.

    (B)Make available to the public a report of the vote tabulating device results for the contest, including the results for each audit unit in the contest, prior to the random selection of audit units to be manually tallied and prior to the commencement of the audit.

    (C)Conduct the audit upon tabulation of the unofficial final results or upon completion of the official canvass for the election.

    (D)Conduct the audit in public view by hand without the use of electronic scanning equipment using the tally procedures established by Section 15360 for conducting a manual tally.

    (3)On or before March 1, 2012, the Secretary of State shall report to the Legislature on the effectiveness and efficiency of postcanvass risk-limiting audits conducted pursuant to this section. The report shall include an analysis of the efficiency of postcanvass risk-limiting audits, including the costs of performing the audits, as compared to the 1-percent manual tallies conducted in the same election pursuant to Section 15360.

    (c)An audit shall not be conducted pursuant to this section with respect to a state or multijurisdictional contest unless all of the counties involved in the contest choose to participate in the pilot program authorized by this section.

    (d)For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:

    (1)"Audit unit" means a precinct, a set of ballots, or a single ballot. A precinct, a set of ballots, or a single ballot may be used as an audit unit for purposes of this section only if all of the following conditions are satisfied:

    (A)The relevant vote tabulating device is able to produce a report of the votes cast in the precinct, set of ballots, or single ballot.

    (B)The elections official is able to match the report described in subparagraph (A) with the ballots corresponding to the report for purposes of conducting an audit pursuant to this section.

    (C)Each ballot is assigned to not more than one audit unit.

    (2)"Contest" means an election for an office or for a measure. "Contest" shall not include either of the following:

    (A)An election for a political party central committee, as provided in Division 7 (commencing with Section 7000).

    (B)An advisory election, as provided in Section 9603.

    (3)"Risk-limiting audit" means a manual tally employing a statistical method that ensures a large, predetermined minimum chance of requiring a full manual tally whenever a full manual tally would show an electoral outcome that differs from the outcome reported by the vote tabulating device for the audited contest. A risk-limiting audit shall begin with a hand tally of the votes in one or more audit units and shall continue to hand tally votes in additional audit units until there is strong statistical evidence that the electoral outcome is correct. In the event that counting additional audit units does not provide strong statistical evidence that the electoral outcome is correct, the audit shall continue until there has been a full manual tally to determine the correct electoral outcome of the audited contest.

    (4)"Unofficial final results" means election results tabulated pursuant to an official canvass conducted pursuant to Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 15300) but not yet reported to the governing board or the Secretary of State pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 15302. is a free resource provided by the Foundation for Continuing Justice, a California based non-profit law firm.