Senate approves bill including Assembly races in post-elections audit law

 

STATE HOUSE — The Senate today approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Alana M. DiMario to include General Assembly elections among those audited by the Board of Elections afterwards to ensure equipment and procedures worked properly.

The bill now heads to the House, which has already passed companion legislation (2024-H 7328) from Rep. Edith Ajello (D-Dist. 1, Providence).

“It is so important that the public have confidence in the accuracy of election results, and risk-limiting audits are the gold standard election integrity tool,” said Senator DiMario (D-Dist. 36, Narragansett, North Kingstown, New Shoreham). “This legislation will ensure that all state elections, including those for the General Assembly, are subject to risk-limiting audits.”

Post-election audits are partial recounts of results to verify that the voting system is accurately recording and counting votes. In 2017, following Russian attempts to interfere with 2016 elections in the United States, Rhode Island enacted a law to allow the Board of Elections to determine which local, statewide and federal contests to audit.

The legislation (2024-S 2458) passed by the Senate today widens this law to include General Assembly races, which previously did not qualify as they are not statewide elections.

Under the existing law, the Board of Elections audits voting results within seven days after an election using established rules and proven methodologies. These audits serve as a deterrent to voter fraud and help to avoid unnecessary full recounts by showing when a recount is necessary, as well as uncovering programming errors, equipment malfunctions and bugs in the system.

 

 

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