Alaska Audit Information

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This information was updated in September, 2013.

State Summary
Signed into law 2005, Alaska's audit is conducted for the entire ballot. The audit is a hand-count of all ballots from one randomly selected precinct in each of the state’s 40 house districts that accounts for 5% of the votes cast in the district.  Audit results are binding on official results but do not lead to a full recount.


Statutes specify that only designated observers can be present

Statutes require that audit results and data be made public

Statutes specify that observers can verify marks on the ballots


The Director of Elections is required to publish “any changes resulting from [the audit]” online. See Section 15.15.430, “Scope of the Review of Ballot Counting”:

Appointed representatives from each political party are required to be present at the audit. See Section 15.15.420, “Duty to Review the Ballot Counting”:
A.S. 15.10.170 states:  "The watcher may be present at a position inside the place of voting or counting that affords a full view of all action of the election officials taken from the time the polls are opened until the ballots are finally counted and the results certified by the election board or the data processing review board."

Voting Systems Used: 

Mixed paper ballot and DREs with VVPAT

For more details, visit Verified Voting.


Audit results binding on official results

See Section 15.15.450, “Certification of State Ballot Counting Review”:

Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit: 

Statues specify criteria to expand the audit (upt to a full recount)

If discrepancies “of more than one percent” are found during the audit, the State Director of Elections is to recount by hand all the ballots from that precinct. Similarly, the director is given discretion to complete a full hand count of ballots in each precinct where any unexplained discrepancy is found.

See Section 5.15.430, Subsections (b) and (c).

Audit Comprehensiveness: 

Absentee ballots included in audit
Provisional ballots included in audit
Ballots counted by hand on election day included in the audit

Absentee ballots and questioned ballots are both to be included in the audit. See Section 15.15.430, Subsection (a)(3).

Additional Targeted Samples: 

No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples

See Section 5.15.430, Subsection (c).

Contests and Issues Audited: 

Every contest and ballot issue voted on the ballot is audited
Primary elections audited

While Alaska's law does not explicitly specify, the laws pertaining to reviews of ballots appear to apply to all elections, both primary and general.

Type of Audit Units: 


Alaska uses a fixed percentage approach, auditing a randomly drawn precinct from each house district that accounts for at least five percent of the ballots cast in that district. See Section 15.15.430, Subsection (a)(3).

Counting Method: 

Hand count only

See Section 15.15.430, Subsection (a)(3).

Oversight and Conduct of Audit:
The State Director of Elections oversees the audit, which is conducted by local election officials and State Review Board Members.

Timeline for Audit:
The audit is to begin  “as soon as practicable after the election is completed,” and no later than 16 days after the election takes place. See Section 15.15.440, “State Ballot Counting Review”: