Ballot Retrieval

Retrieving ballots for a risk-limiting audit is really as simple and straight-forward as retrieving the correct ballot container and counting to the ballot randomly selected.

After the audit begins, each jurisdiction with ballots selected will receive a ballot retrieval list. Generally this list is downloaded by the jurisdiction retrieving the ballots from Arlo, the audit software (see instructions above) but sometimes it may be sent to a county by the state or to a local jurisdiction by their county.

To retrieve ballots, refer to your ballot retrieval list to determine which container is needed. Each ballot retrieval list will show the container and the associated ballot number for each ballot that needs to be retrieved


Retrieve the correct container and perform required chain of custody verification steps. Then open the container. Pull the entire batch of ballots out of the storage container. They might be organized or they might be messy, that's ok. Manipulate them until the stack of ballots is mostly neat.

Precinct 1 Remove ballots & stack neatly

Next refer back to your retrieval list for the ballot number (or numbers) that you need. Start counting at one and stop counting when you get to the ballot number that you are retrieving.

Once you count to the ballot number on your retrieval list, pull the ballot out of the stack, place a colored sheet of paper in the ballot's place to serve as a placeholder, and stick a removable label on to the ballot. The placeholder and label can be generated from Arlo, but if they are not, use blank stock and write the batch name and ballot number on each. Put the retrieved ballot to the side until all ballots have been retrieved.

If more than one ballot is needed from the batch, keep counting until you have retrieved all of the ballots. Always double check the batch name with the retrieval list to ensure it is the same container.

Once the ballots have been retrieved from a container, reseal the container (keeping the ballots selected out) and complete any chain of custody documentation required.


There may be scenarios where you open a container and the ballots were not in the order expected. This can generally be overcome. Contact us at [email protected] for next steps.