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News Archive

November 10, 2021

Media Contact:

Mircalla Wozniak, Communications Specialist, 303.413.7766

Boulder County’s Election Audit and Canvass Open to Public

Audit to validate election outcomes from the 2021 Coordinated Election


Boulder County, Colo. – The public is invited to observe the Boulder County Election Division’s 2021 Coordinated Election risk-limiting audit (RLA) in person beginning Tuesday, November 16. Additionally, the Canvass Board meeting, where election result reports are reviewed for certification, is on Monday, November 22 and is also open to the public to observe and will be held via online conference. Details and RSVP requirements below.

As background, Boulder County and all Colorado counties have conducted post-election audits since 2005, but a risk-limiting audit is considered the “gold standard” test of election results. Colorado has been conducting risk-limiting audits since 2017 and was the first state in the nation to conduct a statewide version.

What: Boulder County Risk-Limiting Audit

When: Tuesday, November 16, 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m. or until complete (see detailed schedule below)

Where: Ballot Processing Center, Boulder County Clerk & Recorder’s Office, 1750 33rd Street in Boulder. RSVP requested by Monday to Vote@BoulderCountyVotes.org or by calling 303-413-7740. In person space is limited. Additionally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Boulder County Public Health COVID-19 safety directives will be enforced. Audit participants and observers will be required to wear a mask and follow instructions provided by staff for the safe conduct of the audit.

The risk-limiting audit is a post-election audit that gives a statistical level of confidence that the outcome of an election is correct. This provides the public with evidence that election outcomes reflect the votes cast by voters on their paper 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 FAQs on the RLA.

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

Detailed Schedule plus other activities and Canvass RSVP information

Monday, November 15 (online only) – Secretary of State’s office provides high-level background on RLA and establishes random seed, which provides the basis for determining which random ballots to pull and audit. Online observation at 9 a.m. Monday (about 15 min process). See Secretary of State notice for link.

Tuesday, November 16 (in-person), 12:30 – 6 p.m. or until complete – Audit board kick-off, ballot pull, and conduct risk-limiting audit.

Wednesday, November 17 (in-person), 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. or until complete – This is a contingency day if audit is not completed on Tuesday.

Monday, November 22 (online only), 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Canvass Board Meeting (final presentation and certification of the official abstract of votes). RSVP to Vote@BoulderCountyVotes.org by Monday, Nov 22 by 10 a.m. A link to watch meeting over Microsoft Teams will be provided to you.

Complete risk-limiting audit details and data will be available 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 no later than Tuesday, November 23. Those results and canvass reports can be found on our website, www.BoulderCountyVotes.org.