Sec. of State Griswold launches ‘Risk-Limiting Audit’ into 2021 election

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FILE – In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold speaks during a news conference about the the state’s efforts to protect the process of casting a vote in the general election in downtown Denver. Griswold announced Thursday, Aug. 12, 2021, that Mesa County in western Colorado must replace its election equipment because it is no longer secure after a security breach in the county clerk’s office. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

DENVER (KDVR) — Secretary of State Jena Griswold held a public meeting Monday morning aimed at establishing a ‘high statistical level of confidence’ in Colorado’s recent election results. 

This public forum was the second step in the ‘2021 Coordinated Election Bipartisan Risk-Limiting Audit,’ which is a process that uses statistical analysis to confirm that the outcome of an election is correct. 

During Monday’s meeting, a 10-sided dice was used in tandem with the Secretary of State’s R.L.A. software to randomly pick individual ballots from each county that would undergo the audit.  

The first step of the process occurred on November 9 when Secretary Griswold selected the political races that will undergo an audit from state election officials. The full list of Colorado’s target contests can be found here. 

Colorado became the first state to conduct a statewide Risk-Limiting Audit in 2017 and is currently one of just three states whose statutes require them. Additionally, eight states in total are currently undergoing their own R.L.A. pilot programs. 

The recent increase in states adopting pilot programs has been attributed to the national growing concern over election security, which was amplified locally when Mesa County’s election equipment was breached by a non-employee in August of 2021.

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