Livingston County’s clerk is among those selected to partner with the Secretary of State’s Bureau of Elections, local election officials and national experts to perform post-election risk-limiting audits.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says they’re continuing their risk-limiting audits pilot as part of ongoing efforts to ensure election security - this time to verify the results of August 6th local elections. Livingston County Clerk Betsy Hundley is among the local clerks selected from Jackson, Marquette, Monroe, Washtenaw and Wayne Counties to work with the Bureau of Elections and staff from Voting Works and the Brennan Center for Justice. The goal of the expanded pilots is to continue development of an overall audit model for Michigan that will work for local elections, as well as a full statewide audit of election results. Benson says they continue to learn from each of the audits, which remain a priority for the recently formed Election Security Advisory Commission to make sure election results are accurate.

Michigan’s election system already incorporates many recommendations of national security and cybersecurity experts, including the use of paper ballots, mandatory pre-election testing on voting equipment and performance-based audits to verify completion of election tasks. However, Benson says risk-limiting audits have emerged nationally as the preeminent method for confirming election results. Michigan is exploring ways to adapt the audits to its own highly decentralized elections structure, in which 1,520 city and township clerks administer both in-person and by-mail voting in more than 4,800 individual precincts, with county clerks also playing a role in canvassing election results.

The upcoming audits are open to the public and will take place on Thursday, September 5th in Washtenaw County and on Tuesday, September 10th in Marquette. Additional information is included in the attached press release. (JM)