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Best Practices: Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit

Table of Contents

When discrepancies are found, additional counting and/or other investigation may be necessary to determine the election outcome or to find the cause of the discrepancies.

a. Audit protocols must clearly state what will result in counting more audit units. Such factors might include the number of discrepancies and their distribution across the sample. Protocols must also specify the method to determine how many additional audit units will be selected and under what circumstances a full recount will be conducted. For a risk-limiting audit, the decision of whether to count more audit units is based on a calculation of the risk; the number of additionally selected audit units depends crucially on the discrepancies that have been uncovered.

b. The plan for continuing the audit must ensure that all stages in counting take place before reporting final results. Moreover, the plan should aim to control the cost of post-election audits while achieving any specified risk limit.