News Archive

November 14, 2018

Media Contact:

Mircalla Wozniak, Communications Specialist, 303.413.7766

Boulder County’s Election Audit and Canvass Open to Public

Audit to check election outcomes from the 2018 General Election


Boulder County, Colo. The public is invited to observe the Boulder County Election Division’s 2018 General Election risk-limiting audit (RLA) beginning on Saturday, November 17 along with other post-election certification activities, as detailed below.

Boulder County was the first county in the nation to conduct a primitive version of a risk-limiting audit in 2008 and led the legislative initiative to require Colorado counties to perform risk-limiting audits beginning in 2017.

This will be the third statewide risk-limiting audit performed in Colorado and our state is the first in the nation to have such a requirement. While Boulder County and all Colorado counties have conducted post-election audits since 2005, a risk-limiting audit is considered the “gold standard” test of election results.

  • What: Boulder County Risk-Limiting Audit
  • When: Saturday, November 17 (see detailed schedule below)
  • Where: 1750 33rd Street, Boulder, Ballot Processing Center
  • Who: Open to public

The risk-limiting audit is a test that helps ensure the accuracy of election results and provides the public with evidence that election outcomes reflect the votes cast by voters on their ballots. To ensure tabulation was accurate, the process reviews how a ballot’s votes were captured at the time it was processed by comparing a sample of paper ballots with digital tallies. To learn more about risk-limiting audits, see the Secretary of State’s fact sheet on the RLA.

The software that facilitates the risk-limiting audit at the state level is open source, meaning anyone can examine the code themselves and other states are welcome to learn from or build on it.

At the Boulder County Ballot Processing Center, members of the public can observe the risk-limiting audit process alongside the canvass and audit board members (the canvass board is the group of individuals who certify the election after reviewing a detailed reconciliation report on the election). Here is the schedule of activities. All activities are open to the public:

Date - Time - Activity

  • Nov. 17 Saturday - 8:30-9 a.m. - Canvass Kick-Off Meeting
  • Nov. 17 Saturday - 9-11:30 a.m. - Audit Board Members arrive; Ballot pull for Risk Limiting Audit begins
  • Nov. 17 Saturday - 12 p.m. - until finished - Risk Limiting Audit
  • Nov. 27 Tuesday - 1:30-3:30 p.m. - Canvass Board Meeting (final information review and signoff/certification of election)

Complete risk-limiting audit details and data will be available at on the Secretary of State’s Audit Center after the audit is complete.

The Boulder County Elections Division expects to post complete and official election results and related documentation on Wednesday, November 28.