New Searchable Database on State Recount and Audit Laws

Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota have developed a very useful tool on state laws on election audits and recounts that can be found on their web site at:

The web site provides a detailed description of each state’s recount and post election auditing laws. It also provides information on the types of machines each state uses, though not by jurisdiction. The information includes details that trigger an automatic recount, whether and how a candidate can obtain a recount, the cost of candidate initiated recounts, and rules on post election audit recounts. It also provides information on the role of challengers and observers in the counting process and rules for determining voter intent.

Users can click on a state to find out the details for each state. Users can also use a searchable data base that allows the researcher to compare across states among various search fields such as voting system used, counting method, initiating mechanism, close vote margin options, candidate initiated options, voter initiated options, cost of candidate initiated options, costs of voter initiated options, challenger and observers, rules for determining voter intent, and audit laws.

In addition, the authors of the web site grappled with the fact that many states use the same words to describe different processes. For example “recount,” “automatic” and “mandatory” mean very different things across states. To deal with the issue they came up with meaningful distinctions and consistent language to describe these unique processes.

The database they have built is very useful and provides one-stop shopping for the laws within and across states related to this issue. This will be useful to many in the election community. Thanks for the good work Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota.