Georgia’s 2022 Statewide Risk Limiting Audit Confirms Results

November 18th, 2022

Beginning on Thursday morning, county election officials in all of Georgia’s 159 counties hand counted randomly selected ballots as part of the statewide audit of the 2022 General Election. The purpose of the audit was to confirm the accuracy of the results for the Secretary of State’s contest. A risk limit of 5% was set for the risk limiting audit (RLA), a limit that is among the best in the country for jurisdictions who conduct RLAs.

The Secretary of State’s office is pleased to announce that the audit confirmed the outcome of the contest.

In total, county election officials audited 328 batches of ballots. Of the 328 batches, 279 (85.1%) had no deviation from the original candidate vote totals. Out of the other 49, all but one had a discrepancy within an expected margin of error for a hand count. The one batch with a higher than expected discrepancy saw an 11 vote increase for both the first and second place candidates, and a 4 vote increase for the third place candidate. After investigation, the election superintendent in the county identified the issue as likely being from test ballots getting mixed in with voted ballots from the election. Properly-marked test ballots are required to have an identifier, such as a watermark, that allow them to be distinguished from official voted ballots; however, these did not.

Below is a comparison of the vote totals for each candidate for the batches that were audited.

 RLA Results

This small amount of difference is well within the expected margin of error for an audit of this size, and it is largely caused by human error during the hand counting process.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger commented upon hearing the results of the audit. “Georgia’s election infrastructure is among our nation’s best,” he said. “This audit shows that our system works and that our county election officials conducted a secure, accurate election.”

Georgia’s audit was supported by VotingWorks and their Arlo auditing software. "VotingWorks is proud to support Georgia election officials during the completion of the first official statewide batch comparison risk-limiting audit in the nation,” said Virginia Vander Roest, Election Implementation Manager for VotingWorks. “Their commitment to secure and transparent elections is apparent by their continued efforts to improve election processes by performing state-of-the-art auditing techniques."

The requirement for a post-election, pre-certification audit was introduced in Georgia during the 2019 legislative session following the introduction of a voter-verified paper based voting system. The purpose of the audit is to ensure the correct outcome of election contests. The successful completion of this year’s RLA audit is one more indicator that Georgia is the #1 state for Election Integrity.

CLICK HERE for a report with audit summary data.

CLICK HERE a zip file with all ballot manifests from the election.

CLICK HERE for a zip file with all of the machine batch tallies. This includes all batches statewide, including those that were audited. You can confirm that these were the same batch tallies that we started the audit with by performing a SHA256 hash of the file and matching it to the tweet from Gabriel Sterling (@GabrielSterling) from 11/17/2022 at 9:53AM.