Picture of the Colorado State Seal

Colorado
Secretary of State
Wayne W. Williams

Picture of Secretary of State Wayne W. Williams

Picture of the Colorado State Seal.

Colorado
Secretary of State
Wayne W. Williams

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2017 RLA Background

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Beginning in November 2017, Colorado election law requires counties to conduct a new type of post-election audit, called a risk-limiting audit or RLA. On August 11, 2017, the Secretary of State adopted Election Rule 25 to specify the manner in which RLAs must be conducted. This page of the Secretary of State’s website is devoted to information, data and materials regarding risk-limiting audits.

In accordance with Election Rule 25.2.2, the Secretary of State established the following risk limits for the Coordinated Election on November 7, 2017:

The risk limit for comparison audits is 9%. Because this is the first official implementation of RLAs in Colorado, the Secretary of State reserves the right to decrease the risk limit for comparison audits to no less than 5% once the audited contests are selected. Any additional decrease in the risk limit for comparison audits will result in an increased level of statistical confidence that the audit will discover an incorrect or wrong outcome in the audited contest. A 9% risk limit means there is a 91% statistical probability that the audit will discover an incorrect outcome in the audited contest. If the risk limit is decreased to 5%, there will be a 95% probability that the audit will discover an incorrect outcome.

The following counties will conduct comparison audits following the 2017 Coordinated Election:

  • Adams
  • Alamosa
  • Arapahoe
  • Archuleta
  • Baca
  • Bent
  • Boulder
  • Broomfield
  • Chaffee
  • Clear Creek
  • Conejos
  • Costilla
  • Crowley
  • Delta
  • Denver
  • Eagle
  • El Paso
  • Elbert
  • Fremont
  • Gilpin
  • Gunnison
  • Huerfano
  • Jefferson
  • Kiowa
  • Kit Carson
  • La Plata
  • Lake
  • Larimer
  • Lincoln
  • Logan
  • Mesa
  • Moffat
  • Montezuma
  • Morgan
  • Otero
  • Ouray
  • Park
  • Phillips
  • Pitkin
  • Prowers
  • Pueblo
  • Rio Grande
  • Routt
  • Saguache
  • San Miguel
  • Sedgwick
  • Summit
  • Teller
  • Weld
  • Yuma

The risk limit for ballot polling audits is 20%. The Clerk and Recorder of each county conducting a ballot polling audit may decrease the applicable risk limit once the Secretary of State selects the audited contest. The Clerk and Recorder must provide to the Secretary of State written notice of any decreased risk limit no later than 5:00 PM MT on Wednesday, November 15, 2017. Any additional decrease in the risk limit for ballot polling audits yields an increased level of statistical confidence that the audit will discover a wrong outcome in the audited contest.

The following counties will conduct ballot polling audits following the 2017 Coordinated Election:

  • Custer
  • Douglas
  • Garfield
  • Las Animas
  • Montrose
  • Rio Blanco

The following counties will not conduct any post-election audit because they are not conducting a coordinated election on November 7, 2017:

  • Cheyenne
  • Dolores
  • Grand
  • Hinsdale
  • Mineral
  • Washington

The following counties will not conduct a post-election audit because they hand count ballots and do not use a vote tabulation system:

  • Jackson
  • San Juan

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