Orange County, California plans to conduct a voluntary audit of its 2020 presidential election ballots to ensure the integrity of results.

The risk-limiting audit is not required under California law, the Orange County registrar of voters said, but the procedure is meant to provide “strong statistical evidence” that the outcome of the election is correct.

“Conducting a risk-limiting audit is an excellent way to audit elections and provide an important check on the integrity of the election process,” Registrar Neal Kelley said in a news release. “This is a valuable opportunity to utilize the enhanced auditing capability of Orange County’s voting system, while at the same time ensuring that the outcomes are true and correct.”

The routine audit is not being done in response to allegations of fraud levied by President Donald Trump.

 

More than 1.53 million O.C. residents cast ballots in the election, the largest volume in Orange County’s 131-year history. It correlated to a turnout of 86.6% percent. Kelley said if it reaches 87%, it will be a record.

On the other hand, vote fraud is a concern in at least two swing states.

Two Republican state lawmakers in Michigan requested an election audit, alleging anomalies and citing affidavits filed in lawsuits challenging the vote-counting process in Detroit and other areas of the state.

State Sens. Lana Theis and Tom Barrett hand-delivered a letter to Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, “urging” her for an official audit before the State Board of Canvassers certifies the 2020 presidential election results.

“Every citizen deserves to have faith in the integrity of the election process and its outcome,” Theis and Barrett wrote in the letter, according to FOX 2 Detroit. “It is our responsibility, as elected public servants, to assure the people of Michigan of the process’s integrity through complete transparency and the faithful investigation of any allegations of wrongdoing, fraud, or abuse.”

Additionally, the Arizona Republican Party is suing Maricopa County election officials to try to force an additional hand count of ballots in a way the party argues would “potentially result in a more precise sampling of votes.”

County election officials must perform hand count audits using a random sampling of ballots to ensure the accuracy of electronic counts. The Maricopa County Elections Department already has completed one for the general election, officials said Monday, and it matched electronic counts exactly.

State law indicates officials should audit ballots from two county precincts or 2% of county precincts, whichever is greater, but that assumes a precinct-based model, where voters are assigned specific polling places they must use to cast their votes. For the 2020 general election, Maricopa County instead used vote centers, which were open to any voter throughout the county.

 

 
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