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Best Practices: Additional Targeted Samples

Table of Contents

Including a limited number of additional targeted samples of ballots can increase audit effectiveness and public confidence. Such samples may be selected by candidates, issue committees, parties, election administrators, or others as provided by regulation.

a. This type of sample can be used either in conjunction with a random audit, or by itself for a contest not required by regulation to be audited using a random method.[18]

b. Targeted audit units might be chosen based on such factors as major election day problems or preliminary results that deviate significantly from historical voting patterns.

[18] One way to contain the cost of targeted samples is to require that the requesting candidate or group pay for the additional ballots to be audited. Such a law was passed in Minnesota in the 2008 legislative session; under this law, the requesting candidate would be refunded by the jurisdiction conducting the recount if the recount leads to the initial result being overturned.