The following is a statement from Verified Voting in support of Virginia’s new audit legislation. For additional media inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHILADELPHIA (April 12, 2022) — Virginia has continued to be a leader in election security by passing bipartisan legislation during its 2022 General Assembly Session that gives voters timelier assurance that election outcomes are correct. SB370 and HB895 passed both bodies of Virginia’s General Assembly without opposition and were signed by the Governor on April 11.
“These bills will make Virginia’s election system even more secure and are the result of years of work from a bipartisan group of stakeholders including election officials, legislators, audit experts and advocates,” said Pamela Smith, President and CEO of Verified Voting. “Verified Voting is proud to have advised on the creation of this bill, and we look forward to continuing to partner with the Commonwealth on election administration best practices.”
The new risk-limiting audit bills create a best practices framework for Virginia’s post-election audits that requires the audits to be conducted before the results are certified and slightly extends deadlines for certification of election results to allow election officials time to complete these audits. This new framework builds on the established practices of the Commonwealth and retains requirements of 2017 audit legislation.
A risk-limiting audit is a best practice post-election audit that manually checks a random sample of voters’ paper ballots to provide statistical evidence that the reported election outcome is correct. Verified Voting participated in the first risk-limiting audit pilot in the City of Fairfax and has been active in advocating for best practices in election security for many years.
“Risk-limiting audits apply quality control principles to elections, similar to spot checks on a manufacturing production line,” said Audrey Malagon, Mathematical Advisor and Virginia lead at Verified Voting. “By changing audits to occur pre-certification, these new bills allow election officials time to address any issues found in the audit — including a full hand recount if needed — and build justified public confidence in the certified election results.”
Both the House and Senate version of the RLA bills had Chief Co-Patrons representing both the majority and minority parties in the Virginia legislature. HB895 was introduced in the House of Delegates by Delegate Terry Kilgore (R) and Delegate Mark Sickles (D) and SB370 was introduced in the Senate by Senator John Bell (D) and Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel (R).
More information on post-election audits can be found on Verified Voting’s website.