Florida Audit Information

Audit Laws Database Moved

Verified Voting, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with a commitment to verifiable elections, will be hosting and maintaining the state audit laws database. Please go to the new State Audit Laws database at Verified Voting to view the most up-to-date database.

This information was updated in September 2013.

State Summary Signed into law in 2007, Florida's audit law is not binding on official results, does not lead to a full recount, and audits only one randomly-selected election contest, selected separately in each county. No contest with boundaries greater than a county-wide contest can be effectively audited.

In 2013 the audit law was amended to provide, in addition to a manual audit, the option of an “automated independent audit.”  No system has yet been approved for this option.  In addition, “rules for approval of an independent audit system” must be adopted.  This rulemaking process will not be completed until sometime in 2014.  Until it is completed, we are unable to describe the  “automated independent audit.”   We will monitor these developments.

All of Florida's audit provisions can be found in Title IX, Chapter 101, Section 101.591, “Voting system audit”: http://tinyurl.com/27vt7ve . All citations below are to this section.

Transparency: 

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

 

The audit must consist of a "...public manual tally of the votes cast..." See Subsection (3).

 

Subsection (4) requires that the audit results be made public.

Voting Systems Used: 

Mixed paper ballot and DREs without VVPAT

 

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Binding: 

No statutory guidance binding audit results on election results

 

Florida's statutes do not state that the audit results shall amend or in any way effect the official results.

Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit: 

No statutory guidance for expanding the audit          

 

Local election officials are to submit a report of the audit results and any discrepancies to the Department of State, including “Recommended corrective action with respect to avoiding or mitigating such circumstances in future elections.” See Subsection (5). However, no further action based on the audit results or discrepancies is required by statute.

Audit Comprehensiveness: 

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

 

See Subsection (2).

Additional Targeted Samples: 

No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples

Contests and Issues Audited: 

Randomly selected election contests or ballot issues are audited

 

One randomly selected election contest is to be chosen for the audit. Each county conducts their random selection separately, however, so counties may audit different contests. See Subsection (2).

Type of Audit Units: 

Precincts/districts

 

The manual audit must be conducted in at least 1% but not more than 2% of precincts. See Subsection (2). The administrative rules further clarify that 2% of precincts in the selected contest are audited. See Rule 1S-5.026, “Post-Election Certification Voting System Audit,” Subsection (5)(c): https://www.flrules.org/Gateway/View_notice.asp?id=6397264.

 

For automated independent audits the statute calls for "at least 20 percent of the precincts chosen at random," see Subsection (2)(b).  See the state summary above for more information about the automated independent audit.

Counting Method: 

Hand count only

 

Subsection (1) states the audit shall be a manual audit.

 

Oversight and Conduct of Audit:

The audit is conducted by the county canvassing board or local board, and audit results are reported to the Department of State. The random selection is conducted at the local level.

 

Timeline for Audit:

The audit is conducted after certification, and must be completed within seven days after certification.