The bill amends Section 17-19-37.4 of the General Laws in Chapter 17-19, which is related to the conduct of elections and voting equipment and supplies, to include provisions for post-election risk-limiting audits. The General Assembly recognizes the importance of auditing election results to ensure the integrity of elections and public confidence in the outcomes. Risk-limiting audits are highlighted as a more efficient method compared to traditional audits, as they allocate resources based on the margin of victory, focusing more on closer contests.

The bill outlines that starting in 2018, risk-limiting audits are authorized after all primary, general, and special elections, with the inclusion of presidential preference primaries and general elections commencing in 2020. The state board, in conjunction with local boards, will determine which contests are subject to an audit, provide public notice, and conduct the audits in public view. The bill also defines terms such as "audit unit" and "risk-limiting audit," and specifies that if an audit leads to a full manual tally, the manual tally will replace the initial vote counts for determining official results. The results of the audits must be published on the state board's website within 48 hours of acceptance. The bill also stipulates that audits will not commence for any election subject to a recount until the recount is concluded. Finally, the bill will take effect upon passage and includes the general assembly elections within the category of elections subject to risk-limiting audits.

Statutes affected:
7328: 17-19-37.4