Voting System Audits

After the certification of all elections, the local canvassing board is required to immediately conduct a manual audit of the voting systems for one randomly selected race in at least 1% but no more than 2% of randomly selected precincts.  The manual audit must occur in public.  The manual audit is not required if a recount of over/undervotes has already occurred in any given race. See F.S. 101.591.
The local canvassing board must report the results of the audit to the Secretary of State.  The report must address:
  1. The overall accuracy of the audit;
  2. A description of any problems or discrepancies encountered;
  3. The likely cause of such problems or discrepancies; and
  4. Recommended corrective action with respect to avoiding or mitigating the problems or discrepancies in the future.
The results of the audit have no legal effect on the outcome or certification of the election, although the results likely could be used as evidence in an election challenge or contest suit. Read how the limited nature of these audits have raised concerns.
Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

About Thomas D. Shults, Esq.

Tom Shults is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer. He has represented clients in election and sunshine law issues, complex business and commercial disputes and probate and trust suits. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1983 and has maintained an active trial practice in state and federal courts for over 35 years. Mr. Shults successfully represented the Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections in Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections et al. v. Browning et al. , where the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of Sarasota County’s charter election law amendments. Mr. Shults has served on the Professional Ethics Committee of The Florida Bar and is the past Chairman of the Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar. He is a recipient of the Distinguished Community Service Award of the Sarasota County Bar Association for his work with the Sarasota Mental Health Community Centers. In 2013 he was nominated for circuit court judge by the 12th Circuit Judicial Nominating Committee. Mr. Shults has served on the faculty of the Kessler-Eidson Program for Trial Techniques at Emory University School of Law and on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy Program for Practicing Lawyers at Nova Southeastern University School of Law. Mr. Shults grew up in St. Petersburg, Florida and is a graduate of St. Petersburg High School (1973), Florida State University (B.S. 1977) and Washburn University School of Law (J.D. cum laude 1982). He is veteran of the United States Army.
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