This information was updated in June 2015 using the Title 25 of the Unofficial Purdon's Pennsylvania Statues (25 P.S.) current through Act 2015-4.
State Summary Signed into law in 1980, Pennsylvania's audit law provides for all items on the ballot to be audited, but the audit results are not binding on official results and cannot lead to a full recount. There is no statutory guidance on whether the audit results are binding on official results and no guidance on whether the audit could lead to a full recount.
All statutes cited below can be found in Title 25, “Elections and Electoral Districts,” Chapter 14, “Election Code,” which can be accessed here: http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=pac-1000
The audit is conducted “as part of the computation and canvass of returns.” See 25 P.S. 3031.17. The canvass of the returns is only open to those authorized to be present which includes the candidates and their appointed watchers and attorneys. Watchers are "permitted to keep or check their own computation of the votes cast." See 25 P.S. 2650 and 3153(a).
While the outcome of the canvass is made public, there are no provisions specifically stating that the audit results from during the canvass must also be made public.
Mixed paper ballot and DREs without VVPAT
Direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems without voter verified paper trails are used in 47 counties. The remaining 20 counties use paper ballots with optical scan tabulators or some combination of DREs wtih optical scan tabulators.
For more details visit Verified Voting.
No statutory guidance binding audit results on election results
No statutory guidance for expanding the audit
No statutory guidance for either early, absentee or provisional ballots
No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples
No specific contests or a procedure for randomly selecting contests for auditing is outlined in Pennsylvania's statute, meaning that, presumably, the entire ballot is audited.
The county board is to select a random sample of at least 2% of the votes cast, or 2,000 votes, whichever is less. See Section 3031.17.
Mix of machine and hand count
Audits are to be conducted "using manual, mechanical or electronic devices of a type of different thatn thoses used for the specific election." No other requirements for the counting method are speified. See Section 3031.17.
Additional counting instructions are provided of the Directive Concerning the Use, Implementation and Operation of Electronic Voting Systems by the County Board (6/09/2011) issued by the Secretary of the Commonwealth. Page 4 states: For those counties using optical scan electronic voting systems, the county board of elections shall conduct the statistical recount manually. For those counties using direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems, the county board of elections shall conduct the statistical recount manually using the ballot images contained in the system, rather than the “totals tapes.”
Oversight and Conduct of Audit:
The county board of elections is responsible for oversight of the audit, as well as conduct of both the audit and the random selection.See Section 3031.17.
Timeline for Audit:
The audit is completed as part of the canvass of the returns.