Status of Audit Legislation: 
Signed into law in 2005

This information was updated in September 2013.

State Summary

Colorado's audit law was signed into law in 2005, C.R.S 1-7-514. Audits are conducted for all races, completed before certification and there is no mechanism for audits to lead to full a recount.

In 2009, the legislature passed a law C.R.S. 1-7-515 authorizing the Secretary of State to develop regulations for risk-limiting audits, to pilot such audits in select counties prior to 2014, and to aid all counties in preparing for timely implementation.  Click here for more information.

Sampling Method: 

For polling places and Early Voting Devices, it's 5% of machines, 100% of the ballots. For absentee ballots, it's at least one scanner, with 5% of the ballots (not less than 500 ballots.) If less than 500 absentee ballots are counted, than 20% of all absentee ballots are counted.


If a discrepancy is found that cannot be explained by voter error, the county clerk and recorder, in consultation with the canvassing board, must investigate and take any action deemed necessary.

Secretary of State
Who Conducts the Audit?: 
County Election Officials, observed by the canvass board, consisting of the clerk and recorder and one appointee from Republican and Democratic parties in a coordinated partisan election, according to statute. In small counties the canvass board itself generally conducts the audit. The Canvass board signs the audit report.
Location of Random Selection: 
In the Secretary of State's office, by computer.
Types of Voting Machines in Use: 
Both optical scanners and DREs, with machines from ES&S, Diebold, Hart and Sequoia. Central count and precinct count. For more detailed information, see Verified Voting's website:
Races that are Audited: 
The statute now says all races (not specified per county). The rules say at least two races. Actual 2007(mostly mail in ballot, local elections, nothing statewide or CD wide) audit appears to be of all races per county.
Voting Units that are Audited: 
Chosen for the audit by serial number.
Timeline for Audit: 

The random selection of machines to test is currently scheduled to happen "within twenty-four (24) hours of the close of polls"". In the case of a delayed count or delayed reporting, this should not happen until the machines are done counting and a tally has been obtained and made known. A report of the audit must be posted within 24 hours of receipt by SOS office.

Completed Before Certification?: 


Do the results of the audit become the official tally?: 
Is the Audit Publicly Observable?: 
Comments from Local Activists: 

"See also the rules from the Secretary of State, e.g. 11.5.4 Post-Election Audit. They are watered down from the law, and allow partial recounts rather than actual audits." "The sampling method includes only all ballots on 5% machines by serial number. Some machines do not provide election sub tallies... sometimes these are audited by machine recount instead or by hand count of VVPAT compared to hand count of printed cast vote records from the device (generally these are identical records) The device made by HART does not even sub tally the cast vote records- so these auditsare also not audits of the actual election tally. "Early voting is done on serial numbers which overlap with precinct voting serial numbers. These serial numbers are not repeated in the pool of serial numbers for random selection, hence early voting sub tallies are usually not audited."

Local Contact Person: 
Neal McBurnett, Citizens for Verifiable Voting