Counties audit two races following Election Day

Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 10:28 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - For the first time, all 99 counties in Iowa will now audit the results of two races of one of its ballot boxes.

County auditors meet with the Secretary of State’s office each year following Election Day when they are randomly given a precinct to audit. In years past, they would count to make sure the number of ballots adds up and check the results of one race.

“It assures the voters that the machines are programmed,” Benton County Auditor Hayley Rippel.

Rippel and a team of three volunteer Post Election Audit Committee members counted all 381 votes in Benton County’s 1st precinct. They then matched the results of the governor’s race and the public measure number 1.

All the results matched at the end of the audit, but it wasn’t without complications; many of them stemmed from people not filling out the ballots properly.

“We asked the voters to fill in the ovals,” said Rippel. “Some of them don’t always look at that. Some of them just do a little check the machines are programmed ahead of time, but that little checkmark might not give that voter the credit on the ballot itself.”

Rippel says this process gives them insight into how the machines got their results and ensures voters the numbers are accurate.

“We’re just ensuring our voters that those machines do count, and they match the paper ballots,” she said.