County Officials Participating In Statewide Post-Election Audit
January 12, 2023
Jessica Mathews / email@example.com
Livingston County election officials will be part of a statewide audit of the November General Election.
The Michigan Bureau of Elections and bi-partisan county and local election clerks will conduct more than 200 public audits of the November 8th election.
Precinct-level audits will be conducted by Bureau of Elections staff and county clerks to review election administration procedures carried out in each audited precinct and identify best practices for future elections.
Additionally, the Bureau and dozens of clerks will participate in a statewide audit, in which randomly selected batches of ballots will be hand-counted to affirm the accuracy of the state’s vote tabulation machines.
The process begins today when a bi-partisan group of election officials will meet in Lansing to generate a random number – by rolling a 10-sided die – that will be used to determine which batches of ballots will be hand counted in the statewide audit.
Livingston County Clerk Elizabeth Hundley and Livingston County Elections Coordinator/Deputy Clerk Joe Bridgman are among the participating officials.
While most people have moved well beyond the November General Election, Hundley said it’s not over for election administrators. She told WHMI that she believes strongly in post-election audits for various reasons and participating in the launch of the statewide audit provides a unique learning opportunity. Hundley said she looks forward to learning more about the initial stages of the audits, as knowledge allows for a more thoughtful analysis. She added it’s a great learning opportunity and both her and Joe are looking forward to it.
A link to the livestream of the 2:30pm event will be posted on Michigan Department of State social media accounts.
In the weeks that follow, local election officials will hand count the dozens of batches of ballots from jurisdictions across the state. The results of each hand-counted batch will then be compared to the machine tally from the corresponding precinct to demonstrate the accuracy of the tabulation machines. The state says machines were publicly tested for accuracy prior to the election, and after the election hand recounts of more than half a million ballots also confirmed the accuracy of the tabulators.
A list of jurisdictions carrying out audits will be finalized and published after the jurisdictions that will participate in the statewide audit are identified. Residents can contact the participating township, city, and county clerks to learn the date, time, and location of each audit and how to observe it.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said “The professional, transparent auditing of our election procedures at the state and local level affirms the accuracy and integrity of our elections, identifies best practices, and ensures continuous improvement of our state’s secure, fair elections system. The 2022 election drew record-breaking turnout and unanimous, bipartisan certification from the Board of State Canvassers. We have confidence the auditing process will ensure we are able to build on that success as clerks throughout the state prepare for the next round of elections this year and next”.
The Bureau expects all audits to be completed by February 17th. Results will subsequently be shared with the Board of State Canvassers in a public meeting.