RLA Model Legislation

This document includes recommended model legislation for states to enable state chief election officials to establish risk-limiting audit procedures for state and federal contests.

Auditing of election results is necessary to ensure effective election administration and to build public confidence in the election results. Risk-limiting audits provide a more efficient manner of conducting audits than traditional audit methods and shall be used in every election in this state where there are state or federal contests.

The state’s chief election official, in consultation with local election officials, shall establish rules for conducting a risk-limiting audit after every election containing a state or federal contest.

The rules shall include:

  1. Procedures to conduct a risk-limiting audit;

  2. Criteria for which contest(s) must be audited;

  3. Criteria to determine the scope of the risk-limiting audit; and

  4. Criteria for public observation and the publication of audit results.

As used in this section, “risk-limiting audit” means an election audit that utilizes statistical principles and methods and is designed to limit the risk of certifying an incorrect election outcome.

If a risk-limiting audit of a contest leads to a full manual tally of all ballots cast, the vote counts according to that manual tally shall become the official contest results.