Arizona Audit Information

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This information was updated in June 2013


State Summary

Signed into law 2006, Arizona's audit law calls for one federal, one statewide, and one legislative contest to be audited, in addition to one ballot measure and the presidential contest.


Unless otherwise noted, all citations below are from the Arizona Revised Statutes, Section 16-602.


Statutes specify that audits must be conducted publicly

Statutes require that audit results and data be made public

No statutory guidance allowing observers to verify ballot marks

"Political party observers are distinguished from members of the general public who may view the central count facility activities from the public viewing area..."  See page 167 of the Arizona Election Procedure Manual.

In addition, party representatives may bring their own video equipment to record the audit. See Section 16-602 (B).

Subsection (B)(1) states that the unofficial vote totals from all precincts shall be made public before selecting the precincts to be hand counted, and Subsection (I) requires that the results of the hand counts be made publicly available on the Secretary of State's website.

Voting Systems Used: 

Mixed paper ballot and DREs with VVPAT


For more details, visit Verified Voting.


Audit results binding upon official results


The audit is binding only when it leads to a full recount.

Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit: 

Statutes specify criteria to expand the audit (up to a full recount)


See Subsections C, D and E.

A committee made up of seven persons with expertise in “mathematics, statistics, random selection methods, systems operations or voting systems,” and without any affiliation in at least five years with election equipment companies, establishes designated margins for each contest to be used during the audit to determine when the audit should be expanded. These margins are determined before the election takes place. See Subsection (K).

Audit Comprehensiveness: 

Early voted ballots included in audit
Ballots counted by hand on election day included in the audit


Ballots cast in the polling place are counted in the audit of randomly selected precincts. Provisional ballots are explicitly excluded from the audit. See Subsection (B)(1).  Early voted ballots are counted in a separate audit. See Subsection (F).

Additional Targeted Samples: 

No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples

Contests and Issues Audited: 

Predetermined election contests or ballot issues are audited
Randomly selected election contests or ballots issue are audited

Primary elections audited

Local election contests audited

Statewide election contests audited

Federal election contests audited


The choice of election contests to be audited is not completely random, as the presidential race is always audited, and as one of each of several types of office (one federal, one statewide, one legislative) must be audited, though the particular contest is chosen at random. One ballot measure is also to be audited. See Subsection (B).

Type of Audit Units: 



At least 2% of precincts in each county, or two precincts, whichever is greater, is audited. See Subsection (B)(1). For early voted ballots, 1% of the total number of such ballots or 5,000 such ballots, whichever is less, is audited. These ballots are grouped by batches to ensure that ballots from each early voting machine are included. See Subsection (F).

Counting Method: 

Hand count only

See Subsection (B) (2).


Oversight and Conduct of Audit

Oversight is handled by the Secretary of State, while the audit is conducted by both county election officials and party representatives appointed by the county party chairperson. See Subsection (B)(7).


Timeline for Audit

 See Subsection (I).