RI Board of Elections to conduct ‘Risk Limiting Audit’ of 2020 General Election results

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CRANSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — The R.I. Board of Elections will conduct a Risk-Limiting Audit (RLA) of the state’s 2020 General Election results Monday.

Rhode Island is one of only five states conducting a Risk-Limiting Audit, which is required by state law.

According to a news release from the Board of Elections, although Rhode Island’s voting system is “tested thoroughly and publicly prior to each election,” the post-election audits “provide an additional verification of the accuracy of the voting system after the election.”

The RLA verification relies heavily on paper ballots, which the state has utilized to record votes over the past two decades.

The Board of Elections has partnered with the non-profit VotingWorks to prepare for and conduct risk-limiting audits.

According to VotingWorks, a typical statewide RLA might require checking fewer than 1,000 ballots to validate an entire state’s election results.

The audit is designed to find “irregularities,” from intentional cyber-attacks to unintentional printing or programming errors that could change the reported election outcomes.

“Risk-limiting audits are considered the ‘gold standard’ of post-election auditing techniques,” Chairwoman Diane Mederos said. “Rhode Island voters have the right to have trust and confidence in the state’s voting system, and risk-limiting audits allow us to strengthen that trust by verifying that our voting machines are functioning properly and free from error or manipulation.”

The risk-limiting audit will be conducted at the Board of Elections Cranston headquarters from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The process is open to the public.

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