City of Lansing to hold post-election audit
Lansing will be one of three cities in Michigan to pilot a “post-election audit, a risk-limiting audit, that is new to Michigan and much of the country,” according to a press release from Deputy City Clerk Brian Jackson.
Rochester Hills and Kalamazoo will join Lansing in this pilot.
“This pilot project will allow us to explore a number of effective and efficient audit procedures that will further strengthen our election security profile,” Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said in the press release. “The feedback we obtain from these pilots will enable the Bureau to assess how to best move forward with this concept on a statewide basis, and further strengthen Michigan’s post-election audit process.”
With the Secretary of State's support, this pilot could set a precedent for post-election procedures. Lansing City Clerk Chris Swope said the Michigan Legislature put language in this year’s appropriation budget requiring the Secretary of State to assist in the audits.
Swope explained the process for the audits, which will take place Dec. 4.
“We’re actually doing two types of audits because some of our voters are absentee and some voted in person,” Swope said. “One method compares actual ballots to the cast-vote record. That type can only be done with our absentees, because only with those do we have the order of the ballots that were cast. ... The other method is for the polling places, where we don’t have the order because number one, the machine is randomized, so it wouldn’t be able to tell how the first voter voted.”
Swope said he'll be taking a trip to Colorado in mid-November to see and learn from a similar audit process before Lansing's is set to take place.
“It’s kind of a growing trend with people being worried about elections," Swope said. "We want to have a way to restore their confidence in elections and verify that we are not having issues with the ballots being miscounted."