Counties Oppose Costly Election Audit Mandate

MACo Associate Director Kevin Kinnally testified in opposition to HB 1172 – Election Law – Postelection Tabulation Audits – Risk-Limiting Audits before the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill requires the State Board of Elections, in collaboration with the local boards of elections, to conduct a risk-limiting audit of at least one statewide contest and any other contests selected for audit by SBE, following each statewide election.

Risk-limiting audits employ statistical methods to ensure a large, predetermined minimum chance of requiring a full manual count of voter-verifiable paper records in an audited contest if a full manual count of the voter-verifiable paper records would find a different outcome than the outcome determined by the electronic count. MACo does not raise policy objections to employing risk-limiting audits to verify election results – county concerns are merely practical and cost-driven.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties are concerned this legislation places a substantial administrative and cost burden onto local Boards of Elections, whose operations are supported by county funding. Without state resources to offset these potentially large costs, the bill represents an unfunded mandate on local governments.

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2020 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.

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