Newly enacted bill will include state legislative races in post-election audit law

 

STATE HOUSE – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Edith Ajello and Sen. Alana M. DiMario to include state legislative elections among those audited by the Board of Elections has been signed into law.

“Voters deserve to have confidence in the elections process at every level. Of course that should apply to the election of their state representatives and senators, whose decisions affect all Rhode Islanders. Post-election audits are a way to transparently verify that the votes were counted accurately and that all the procedures were followed correctly, so Rhode Islanders can be assured that the results truly reflect the votes that were cast,” said Representative Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence).

In effect, post-election audits are partial recounts of results to verify that the voting system is accurately recording and counting votes. The newly enacted legislation (2024-H 7328, 2024-H 2458), which became effective immediately, widens that law to apply it to General Assembly races.

“Post-election audits are the gold standard election integrity tool, helping to safeguard democracy and assure the public that the elections were run fairly,” said Senator DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham). “This legislation will ensure that all state elections, including those for the General Assembly, are subject to post-election audits.”

Representative Ajello was also the sponsor of the law enacted in 2017 to require post-election audits after all statewide primary, general and special elections. That law, which was enacted following Russian attempts to interfere with 2016 elections in the United States, allowed the Board of Elections to determine which local, statewide and federal contests to audit.

The Board of Elections audits voting results within seven days after an election using established rules and proven methodologies. These audits serve as a deterrent to voter fraud and help to avoid unnecessary full recounts by showing when a recount is necessary, as well as uncovering programming errors, equipment malfunctions and bugs in the system.

 

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