Clerk’s Corner: Votes cast and counted, but election not over
- Total active registered voters: 7,561
- Number of votes cast: 3,607
- Percent of turnout: 48 percent
- Chip McIntyre 1,744
- Mindy Baker 1,303
- Elise Sullivan 2,586
- Alicia Noland 1,495
- Owen Lee Atkin 1,515
- Write- in-Chris Thome 108
- Yes 1,199
- No 1,111
- Yes 1,203
- No 2,351
- Yes 53
- No 26
- Yes 13
- No 7
The votes have been cast and counted, but the election isn’t over ‘til the “fat lady sings,” and that just happens to be my job. Fa la la la, la la la la!
Every election must be certified, and, depending on the chain events, this process can last well into December. The Canvass and Audit is the checks and balances of the entire election process. A bipartisan team of judges serve as the Canvass Board, and it is their duty to audit and review all the records from the election. This includes logic and accuracy tests, chain of custody records, poll books, signature cards and ballot logs, adjudication records and tabulation reports.
The Canvass Board reconciles the number of votes counted to the number of ballots cast. It also certifies the official abstract of votes and participates in the post audit process. Under direction of the county clerk, the Canvass Board will investigate and report any discrepancies found in the audit process and, if deemed necessary, will conduct a recount of votes.
This year, Colorado will be the first state in the nation to conduct a new post-election audit, known as the risk-limiting audit or RLA. An RLA provides strong statistical evidence that the election outcome is correct, and it has a high probability of correcting a wrong outcome. The audit allows election officials to double check a sampling of paper ballots against the digital tabulation to determine whether results were tabulated correctly. The benefits of such audits include revealing when recounts are necessary; finding errors, whether accidental or intentional; deterring fraud; providing improvements in the conduct of elections; and promoting public confidence in the election process.
The secretary of state selects the contests for each county to audit. Election officials download the electronically cast vote records into a software program, and a statistical algorithm determines the number of ballots to be manually inspected. Those ballots are then compared to the voting system tabulation for interpretation. If the audit is unsuccessful, the secretary of state will determine a second round of auditing. The audit must be complete by Nov. 23, and the final day to request a recount is Dec. 14. When the audit is complete, the election is certified.
Until next month, Cheers!
Lila Herod is Moffat County clerk and recorder.