A statewide risk limiting audit of the November 2020 General Election is underway in Washtenaw County.
The statewide audit is being administered by the Michigan Bureau of Elections in partnership with county, city and township clerks. It will be conducted over the course of two weeks with results expected to be published after Jan. 22.
The Washtenaw County Clerk’s office will gather audit teams at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Teaching & Learning Center on Thursday, Jan. 14 from 9-noon. During this event, audit teams will retrieve and tally randomly selected ballots from several Washtenaw County cities/townships that have chosen to participate in the event, including the City of Ypsilanti, City of Chelsea, City of Milan, Dexter Township and Scio Township.
In-person observation will also be available. Due to limited crowd capacity under emergency public health orders, those interested in observing the audit proceedings in-person are encouraged to sign-up in advance, here.
The WISD Teaching and Learning Center is located at 1819 South Wagner Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106.
All 26 cities and townships in Washtenaw County have been randomly selected to participate in the statewide risk limiting audit. Those not attending the event on Jan. 14 will perform ballot retrieval and tallying at their respective city/township clerk’s office before Jan. 22. More information can be obtained by contacting city and township clerks directly.
More than 18,000 ballots will be retrieved in over half of the state’s election jurisdictions. Clerks have two weeks to draw the corresponding ballots and review them. Once the process has been completed in each county, the Michigan Department of State will announce the results of the comparison between the randomly selected hand-reviewed ballots and the statewide machine-tabulated totals.
Risk limiting audits are used to confirm the accuracy of ballot tabulation machines, by comparing the results from the hand count of the randomly selected paper ballots to the previously printed results from the machines.
Michigan’s long-planned statewide audit is expected to confirm within a statistical level of certainty the results of the statewide presidential contest.
A pilot audit after the presidential primary in March of 2020 already demonstrated the accuracy of Michigan’s elections.