Missouri Audit Information

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This information was updated March 2014.

 

State Summary

Put in place by the Secretary of State in 1990, Missouri's audit rule requires an audit for a large number of local, state-wide, and federal contests, as well as any contest within a certain close vote margin. Audit results are binding on the official election results, but they do not lead to a full recount.

 

Unless otherwise noted, all citations below are to the Missouri Code of State Regulations (CRS), Title 15, “Elected Officials,” Division 30, Rule 30-10.110, “Manual recount.” The rule is available as a pdf here.  

Transparency: 

No statutory requirement that audits be conducted publicly

Statutes require that audit results and data be made public

No statutory guidance allowing observers to verify ballot marks

 

The random selection of precincts is open to the public. See 15 CSR 30-10.110(2).

 

However, there is no other guidance in statutes or rules regarding the public or appointed observers' ability to watch the counting during the audit process.

 

The results of the audit are to be kept in the public records of the election. See CSR 30-10.110 (6).

Voting Systems Used: 

Mixed paper ballot and DREs with VVPAT

 

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Binding: 

Audit results binding upon official results

 

Regulation 15 CSR 30-10.110(2) requires audits to take place prior to the certification of the election results, and 15 CSR 30-10.110(4) requires the audit recount team to investigate the causes of any discrepancy and resolve any discrepancies prior to the date of certification in instances where the results of the manual recount of the selected races and ballot issues differ by more than one-half of one percent (0.5%) from the results of the electronically tabulated vote results.  The audit results become part of the certified returns sent to the Secretary of State.  The certified returns from the local election authority are the official election returns.

Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit: 

No statutory guidance for expanding the audit          

 

The local election authority is to “investigate” and “resolve” any discrepancies. There is no provision for expanding the audit. See the preceding section on "Binding" for the handling of discrepancies under regulation 15 CSR 30-10.110(4).

Audit Comprehensiveness: 

Ballots counted by hand on election day included in the audit
No statutory guidance for either early, absentee or provisional ballots

 

There is no language in Missouri's statutes restricting the audit at any precinct to votes cast on machines. However, there is similarly no language to ensure that absentee, early voted ballots, or provisional ballots are included in the audit.

Additional Targeted Samples: 

No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples

Contests and Issues Audited: 

Randomly selected election contests or ballots issue are audited

Local election contests audited

Statewide election contests audited

Federal election contests audited

 

Contests are randomly selected, but must include one of either the presidential, US Senate, or state-wide candidates; a state-wide ballot issue; a US congressional or state general assembly candidate; a partisan circuit, associate circuit, or nonpartisan judicial retention candidate; and one local contest from the county. See 15 CRS 30-10.110  (3)(B) and (3)(C).

 

Additional contests with close vote margins are also selected for auditing. Any contest in which the margin of victory between the top two candidates is equal or less than 0.5% must be audited. See 15 CSR 30-10.110 (3)(C)(6).

Type of Audit Units: 

Precincts/districts

 

No less than 5% of all election precincts must be audited. See 15 CRS 30-10.110 (2).

Counting Method: 

Hand count only

 

See 15 CRS 30-10.110(2).

 

Oversight and Conduct of Audit:

Local election officials conduct the audit, while the random selection is conducted by the Secretary of State. Oversight is handled by Secretary of State and the Accuracy Certification Team.

 

Timeline for Audit:

The random selection of precincts must take place before the certification of election results. There are no further requirements regarding when the audit itself must begin or be completed.