Risk-limiting audits are an effective tool that can be implemented in the state of Arizona
Two of the most important election security measures in use in Arizona today, paper ballots and postelection audits, were first implemented more than a decade ago. Currently, Arizona is one of at least 24 states that conduct postelection audits, which require hand review of paper ballots, prior to certification of the election results. However, as we discuss in detail below, there are two substantive deficiencies in Arizona’s current audit law: (1) local election officials are prevented from completing an audit if one or more political parties refuse to participate and (2) the type of postelection audit required (a “traditional” postelection audit) limits the efficacy and the flexibility of the audit.
A risk-limiting audit (RLA) is a check on the election outcome. Through the use of proven statistical methodologies, an RLA provides voters with confidence in the accuracy of election results. It can be conducted publicly and is designed to detect, and correct, counting errors or malicious attacks that change the outcome of an election.
Image credit: Rebekah Zemansky