Washington, DC – Today, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Elections Project released their latest report, Bipartisan Principles for Election Audits. This report was unanimously endorsed by BPC’s Task Force on Elections—29 Republican, Democratic, and nonpartisan election officials from 20 states—Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.
“Every election official believes that audits are a good and essential part of elections,” said Matthew Weil, BPC director of the Elections Project. “However, in the last year, the word ‘audit’ has been weaponized to justify extralegal investigations that presuppose election officials are bad actors with malicious intent. This report aims to outline what a secure, precise, trustworthy audit of an election should look like in every state.”
Recommendations in the report include that audits should take place before the results are certified, that election officials must maintain custody of the ballots during audits, and that audits should be open to the public for observation. Extralegal investigations in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin do not meet most of the unanimously endorsed recommendations put forward in the report.
“In Ohio, we audit every election,” said Amanda Grandjean, Ohio director of elections, deputy assistant secretary of state, and member of BPC’s Task Force on Elections. “I am happy that so many of Ohio’s post-election processes and procedures are included in Bipartisan Principles for Election Audits, and I hope this will help other states and voters understand the importance of transparently auditing election results in a secure manner.”
As red, blue, and purple states consider election policy and voting reform, Bipartisan Principles for Election Audits serves as a guide for how to implement transparent audits that improve voters’ faith in results. American democracy relies on a functional and trusted election ecosystem; a functional and trusted election ecosystem relies on audits.
“The Bipartisan Policy Center’s Election Project is working tirelessly to arm election officials with the proper tools to conduct thorough audits for their jurisdictions to ensure trust in the election process,” said Michael Winn, the chief deputy for the clerk of Harris County Texas. “I’m proud to be a part of the Task Force on Elections’ work to improve the American voting process for all voters.”
Read the full report here.
On Tuesday, November 9 at 1:00 p.m. ET, report co-author Rachel Orey will speak about audit best practices during a public conversation between Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose and the Ohio Association of Election Officials. Watch the live broadcast here.
For questions or to speak to members of BPC’s Elections Project or task force, contact Senior Manager of Media Relations Kyle Fischer.