The State Board of Elections on Tuesday finalized election results for the November 2021 municipal elections and took steps toward expanding and improving the state’s post-election audits and better explaining them to voters.
The five-member board unanimously certified winners of cross-county contests and authenticated results of county canvasses across North Carolina. Canvass is the official process of determining votes have been counted and tabulated correctly, resulting in the authentication of the official election results.
The State and County Boards of Elections conducted a series of post-election audits as part of the canvass process. Audit results for the November municipal election are available here: November 2021 Audit Report (PDF)
Statewide canvass documents, including final vote tallies for candidates, are available here: State Board Meeting Documents Nov. 23, 2021.
Risk-Limiting Audit Pilot Program
Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections, also discussed the risk-limiting audit pilot program conducted by 17 volunteer counties after the November 2021 municipal elections. She recommended continuing the pilot program with volunteer counties in 2022 to test RLAs in the larger-scale midterm elections.
Additional tests of RLAs may allow more volunteer counties to participate and help state and county election officials fine-tune the process before considering a statewide rollout of the audits.
“RLAs are becoming the standard-bearer in post-election audits, and we want to be at the forefront of ensuring voter confidence in elections,” said Karen Brinson Bell, executive director of the State Board of Elections.
The Board voted 4-1 to continue the pilot program in 2022.
For more on North Carolina’s RLA pilot, go here: North Carolina Election Boards to Pilot Risk-Limiting Audits.
In each pilot county, the RLA substantiated the results of the contest audited.
Many election integrity experts consider risk-limiting audits, or RLAs, a best practice in election auditing. More and more jurisdictions across the United States are adopting RLAs. (See ASA Endorses Post-Election Audits Principles.)
The State Board also voted unanimously to direct staff to develop a series of legislative and other recommendations on how to improve the state’s existing post-election audit program and better communicate it to voters.
More information on existing post-election procedures and audits is available here: Post-Election Procedures and Audits.
Brinson Bell also remembered longtime Davidson County Elections Director Ruth Huneycutt, who passed away November 5 after loyally serving voters in her county for 48 years.