Wisconsin Election Audits Confirm Results

Expanded post-election audits in 2018 confirmed that voting equipment in Wisconsin accurately counted the state’s votes, according to a recent report to the Wisconsin
Elections Commission.

“The 2018 post-election voting equipment audit was the largest audit of its kind undertaken in the State of Wisconsin,” Administrator Meagan Wolfe reported to the WEC. “Over the course of three weeks, more than 135,000 ballots were hand counted by dutiful and diligent local election officials. As with prior audits, the expanded audit and random selection process effectively confirmed the accuracy of voting equipment used in Wisconsin during the 2018 General Election.”

The audit results indicated there were no identifiable bugs, errors, or failures of the tabulation voting equipment. While there were discrepancies identified during the audit, they were the result of human error that occurred as part of the process of conducting the audit. Additionally, the results of the audit did not identify any programming errors that impacted how the audited voting equipment counted votes, Wolfe noted.

State law requires the Commission to conduct audits after each general election to determine the error rate of each type of electronic voting equipment used in Wisconsin. The Commission determined each system approved for use in Wisconsin tabulated votes in accordance with certification standards during the 2018 General Election. Under federal standards, an error rate of 1 ballot in 500,000 is permitted.

In 2018, the Commission significantly expanded the scope of post-election audits to ensure the integrity of voting systems, requiring audits of voting equipment in 5 percent of the state’s wards, including at least one in each of the 72 counties, and requiring completion of the audits before the Commission certifies the final results.