San Mateo County Adopts New Post-Election Audit Procedure Approved by the Secretary of State
The Public is Encouraged to Attend and Observe the Audit Process

New Site Press Release

Contact:Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Alternate: Jim Irizarry, Assistant Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

(Redwood City, CA) At 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020, the San Mateo County Registration & Elections Division will randomly select the “random seed” for the new post-election audit procedure for the June 23, 2020 County Service Area No. 1 Special Election.

Post-election audits are an essential step in the canvassing of an election, as well as a requirement to certify election results. Currently, most post-election audits in California have been conducted using the one percent manual tally, which involves choosing a random sampling of one percent of all precincts from Vote Centers and one percent of batches of Vote by Mail ballots. A Risk-Limiting Audit (RLA) is a post-election audit procedure meant to even further guarantee the accuracy of the outcome. RLA’s draw a more dynamic sample of ballots from the election and provide a greater statistical certainty that the election results are accurate.

The Division will conduct a One Percent Manual Tally and a pilot RLA. After the polls close on Election Day, results must be audited to certify the Official Results.

The dice roll, using three ten-sided dice, generates a 20-digit random sequence of numbers known as a random seed. The sequence of the dice will be Red-White-Blue-R-W-B-R-W-B-R-W-B-R-W-B-R-W-B-R-W, or six (6) rolls of three dice, and the final roll consisting of two dice.

The random selection for an RLA is different from a One Percent Manual Tally. Rather than roll to select one percent of all Vote Center precincts and Vote by Mail ballots, an RLA potentially includes all ballots.

The post-election audit, including the rolling of the dice for the random seed and the selection of one percent of Vote by Mail ballots, is open to the public and will be live-streamed on our Twitter page @smcvote.

The subsequent audit will begin on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 9 a.m. Election officials will work in teams of three, called an “audit board,” to manually read, call out, record, and inspect votes by hand.

Audit boards will inspect random ballots selected by a web-based RLA Tool after inputting the random seed and a list of all ballot batches. Audit boards will report the markings from individual ballots to compare to the voting system results. If the markings from the ballot match the voting system results for 95% or more of the ballots pulled, the audit concludes that the voting system reported outcomes accurately, and the election can be certified.

Upon conclusion of all canvassing activities, the Chief Elections Officer will certify and publish the official results no later than July 10, 2020. The official certified results, known as the Statement of the Vote, will be published on www.smcacre.org. For more information about the results of the RLA, bookmark our page https://www.smcacre.org/post/san-mateo-county-registration-elections-division-debuts-new-post-election-audit.

The RLA and the dice roll will be held at the Registration & Elections Division at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo. Please call 650.312.5222 or email registrar@smcacre.org if you wish to observe the audit or be a part of the process of generating the random seed. Follow @smcvote on Twitter for updates.