Minneapolis, MN. Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN), a state-wide, nonpartisan organization that promotes verifiable and accurate elections, has recruited and trained over 180 volunteers to observe the hand-counting of the ballots for the post-election audit.
According to CEIMN Director Mark Halvorson, “Audits are critical for protecting the integrity of the election process by providing a check on the accuracy of the election outcomes. Minnesota, widely considered a model for election administration, will have the opportunity to demonstrate how accurate, transparent and fair elections should be conducted.”
The audit provides an essential check on the vote tabulation to mitigate most sources of error including programming errors or glitches which have occurred across the county. For example, a programming error was uncovered in the recount of the 1998 Vadnais Heights City Council race that changed the outcome.
Minnesota’s audited races include votes cast for president, U.S. House of Representatives and the U. S Senate race. This provides a unique opportunity to compare the audit results with the full manual recount in the U.S Senate race.
Under state law, Minnesota’s post-election audit began this morning. In total, 202 randomly selected precincts across all 87 counties will be audited. If the audit reveals a difference greater than 0.5% between the election day tally and the manual audit in any given precinct additional precincts will be audited. No counties in 2006 were required to conduct additional audits.
The volunteer observation effort is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters Minnesota and is part of a multi-state effort to learn more about election auditing which is in its infancy.
For more information about Minnesota’s audit process visit Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota’s website at www.ceimn.org.