Conduct of Elections

ORS 254.532
Risk-limiting audit

  • procedures
  • rules


As used in this section:


“Incorrect election outcome” means an election outcome that differs from the election outcome that would result from an accurate hand count of all validly cast ballots.


“Risk” means the probability that an audit procedure would fail to detect an incorrect election outcome.


“Risk limit” means the largest acceptable risk.


“Risk-limiting audit” means a set of procedures to ensure that the risk does not exceed the risk limit.


At each primary election, general election or special election, the county clerk for each county shall make a determination on whether to conduct a hand count of ballots in the manner described in ORS 254.529 (Choice of conducting hand recount of ballots or risk-limiting audit) or to conduct a risk-limiting audit in the manner described in this section.


If the county clerk makes a determination under subsection (2) of this section to conduct a risk-limiting audit, the county clerk shall conduct a risk-limiting audit for one or more single-county election contests. For an election contest involving more than one county, the county clerk may request that the Secretary of State or the county clerks in the other counties holding the election coordinate for the purpose of conducting a multicounty risk-limiting audit.


A risk-limiting audit conducted under this section must:


Permit members of the public to observe the procedures and verify the results of the audit;


Ensure that the entity directly involved in tabulating or examining ballots during the audit does not have the sole authority to establish the policies and regulations for the audit or to judge whether an audit has satisfied those policies and regulations;


Ensure that all ballots tabulated or examined during an audit are protected from loss, substitution, alteration or addition;


Ensure that the audit takes into account all forms of validly cast ballots, including accepted provisional ballots;


Include mechanisms that permit the entity conducting the audit to respond to particular allegations regarding election irregularities;


Be conducted in a timely manner that permits the initially reported outcome to be corrected before an election contest is certified;


Ensure that no change or error in technology used to assist with the audit could result in an undetected change in the results of the audit; and


Be based on direct visual human examination of elector-marked ballots.


A risk-limiting audit conducted under this section may not rely on a scanned image of a ballot or a machine interpretation of marks on a ballot to determine elector intent.


The Secretary of State, in consultation with county clerks and individuals or entities with significant statistical expertise in conducting audits, shall establish rules for the implementation of this section, including:


Setting the risk limit; and


Establishing the procedures to be used for conducting a risk-limiting audit. [2019 c.562 §2]
Note: See note under 254.529 (Choice of conducting hand recount of ballots or risk-limiting audit).


Last accessed
Jun. 26, 2021