BlogVerified Voting Blog Post

Post-Election Audits Heat Up in Arizona

Last week, Arizona took a step towards strengthening its post-election audit process by enacting Senate Bill 1342 which provides a series of steps to allow every county to conduct their statutorily required post-election audit. Verified Voting advocates for post-election audits, which are a regular check on vote counting machines. Well-designed post-election audits can provide solid evidence to support the reported election outcome. When implemented alongside other best practices, post-election audits of paper ballots provide solid evidence for the initial election outcome when it is correct—and an opportunity to correct the outcome when it is not.

Although Arizona’s statute already requires counties to conduct a post-election audit, through a peculiarity in the rule, not every county has been able to conduct an audit in past elections. The statute required the political parties to supply the needed number of audit workers, and if that did not happen, the election official could not conduct the audit. In 2020, only 10 of Arizona’s 15 counties could complete their audit because they did not have enough audit workers supplied by the county political parties (and in 2022, only 12 of the 15 participated). Now with this change in the law, the list of entities that can provide audit workers is expanded, alleviating a bottleneck in the process and allowing all 15 counties to conduct and complete their routine post-election audit. 

Arizona’s History of Post-Election Audits

In recent years, the importance of post-election audits has been underscored by debates surrounding election integrity and trust in democratic institutions. In Arizona, the significance of audits has been particularly pronounced, given the state’s status as a battleground in national politics. Sound post-election auditing practices, like those found in Principles and Best Practices for Post-Election Tabulation Audits, can give Arizonans assurance of the integrity of their own elections.

Why is it important that each county has an opportunity to conduct a post-election audit? 

Confidence and Trust: In a democracy, public trust in the electoral process is paramount. When every county conducts a post-election audit, it sends a powerful message of transparency and accountability to the electorate. Citizens are more likely to have confidence in the electoral outcome when they know that routine post-election audits are conducted. An audit also provides for the opportunity to detect an error, whether accidental or intentional, and produce correct outcomes if necessary. 
Deterrence Against Fraud: The knowledge that every county conducts post-election audits acts as a deterrent against fraudulent activities. Potential wrongdoers are less likely to attempt to manipulate election results when they know that audits will be conducted to verify the accuracy of the outcome. Routine post-election audits in every county can also potentially deter calls for sham reviews like we saw in Arizona following the 2020 election.


Senate Bill 1342 finally gives election officials enough workers to complete their current post-election audit requirement—helping to detect discrepancies, deter fraud, promote transparency, and drive continuous improvement. We look forward to continued efforts in Arizona and other states, especially as we make progress toward best practice audits. Visit our website to learn more about post-election audits, including a map showing post-election audit laws currently in place across the country.