With essentially the press of a button, Leon County became one of the first counties in the nation to conduct an independent, automatic audit of election results. In the past, the Supervisor of Elections Office was required to audit a randomly selected precinct and race as part of a post-election, state-mandated audit. The manual audits would take days to complete using temporary workers and result in audits that were not statistically reliable, said Supervisor of Elections Ion Sancho. But on Wednesday, the elections office used new technology called ClearAudit, developed by a Boston-based company called Clear Ballot, to audit 100 percent of the Aug. 26 primary-election results in just moments. Florida is the first state in the nation to allow the use of the technology for audits, and Leon County was among the first four counties in the state to use it. The others are Bay, Putnam and St. Lucie counties.
“The potential for this technology is nothing short of revolutionary,” Sancho said. “Every vote on every ballot in every race is made absolutely clear for elections officials, the public as well as the candidates. If this technology had been in place during the infamous Florida 2000 election, the process could have been over in hours, not 37 days.”
The technology allows election workers to examine scanned paper ballots, organize them in certain ways and display them on a large screen for the public to see. “It’s like looking at ballots under the microscope but having the ability to put them on a movie screen for your viewing,” Sancho said.
The elections office’s tabulation system counted 45,319 votes, but the audit system, used to confirm that number, counted 45,310. The audit system couldn’t read the other nine ballots because of problems ranging from tears to stray marks. The Leon County Canvassing Board, made up of Sancho, County Judge Augustus Aikens Jr. and County Commissioner Mary Ann Lindley, went through each of the nine ballots and accepted them before signing off on the audit.
Full Article: Leon County among first to automatically audit election.