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Secretary of State to Conduct Election Audit

Jun 07, 2019

Using risk-limiting audits, the Bureau of Elections will partner with local election officials and national experts to verify the results of the May 7 local elections. The Bureau of Elections, which is housed within the Secretary of State’s office, will partner with clerks in Lansing Township, the City of Lansing, Muskegon County, and Wyandotte. Together with staff of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Voting Works, and the Brennan Center for Justice, they will conduct the audit. In addition, several election administrators from other states will be attending, observing and learning from Michigan’s audits.

Michigan first conducted pilot audits after the November 2018 election in Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Rochester Hills. The upcoming audits will build upon last year’s pilots using elections that cover multiple jurisdictions.

Risk-limiting audits have emerged nationally as the preeminent method for confirming election results. They use statistical methods to perform a comprehensive check on the accuracy of reported election results and to detect anomalies, possibly tied to human error or manipulation. Using a mathematical formula, auditors in each locality will randomly select ballots to confirm that the ballot tabulators correctly tallied election results.

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