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2020 Post Election Audit Report

As stipulated by Indiana Law, The Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP), on behalf of the Indiana Secretary of State, is required to plan and conduct a random audit of paper votes following each primary and general election.

These audits aim to determine if certified election results are accurate.

Following the 2020 election, five counties were selected to participate in a post-election audit.

Currently, at least 10% of voting machines in each Indiana include a paper record of every vote. By the 2024 general election, every vote cast in Indiana will have a paper trail.

What is a Post-Election Audit?

Indiana’s post-election audits provide strong statistical evidence that an election outcome is correct. This is done by manually checking a randomized sample of paper-voted ballots.

In a post-election audit, ballots are not tallied by scanners. Every sampled ballot is hand-counted to determine if the initial machine readings are confirmed and accurate.

The number of ballots sampled is determined by a statistical analysis of the number of votes cast and the margin of victory in a particular contest.

Post-election audits are valuable because they can detect problems with election outcomes, with a high degree of statistical confidence, without engaging in an expensive and time-consuming full recount unless it is absolutely necessary.

What is VSTOP?

Hosted by Ball State University, VSTOP tests all of the election equipment used in Indiana for an added layer of safety and security. After VSTOP reviews the system to ensure its compliance with the law, its recommendation is presented to the bi-partisan Indiana Election Commission, the body responsible for certifying voting systems in Indiana.

VSTOP is a non-partisan program and advises the Indiana Secretary of State on voting machines and equipment certification in Indiana.

Findings

Following the 2020 General Election, VSTOP conducted post-election audits, examining election results in 5 Indiana Counties: Cass, LaPorte, Marion, Madison & Vigo counties.

Overall, 26 individual races were audited at the federal, state, and local levels, including the 2020 Presidential race, Congressional races, and Indiana Governor race.

In total, the audits examined these contests:

Cass: 

  • President and Vice President of the United States
  • Governor and Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • United States Representative District 4
  • State Senator 18th District
  • County Coroner
  • County Surveyor

LaPorte: 

  • President and Vice President of the United States
  • Governor and Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Judge of the Superior Court No. 1
  • Circuit Court Clerk
  • County Auditor
  • County Recorder
  • County Treasurer
  • County Coroner
  • County Commissioner District 3
  • County Council At-Large

Madison:

  • President and Vice President of the United States
  • Governor and Lieutenant Governor
  • U.S. State Representative of District 5
  • County Council At-Large
  • Goff Judicial Retention

Marion:

  • President and Vice President of the United States
  • Attorney General
  • Governor and Lieutenant Governor
  • County Surveyor
  • County Treasurer
  • Superior Court Angela Davis (Local Judicial Retention Question)
  • Superior Court Christina Rose Kleinman (Local Judicial Retention Question)
  • Superior Court Cynthia Jane Ayers (Local Judicial Retention Question)
  • Superior Court David J. Certo (Local Judicial Retention Question)
  • Superior Court Elizabeth Ann Christ (Local Judicial Retention Question)

Vigo:

  • President and Vice President of the United States
  • Governor and Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • United States Representative District 8
  • Clerk of the Circuit Court

The counties selected also ensure representation of each of the four different voting systems currently used in Indiana. The audit team individually sampled more than 5,000 ballots from the 2020 General Election.

In every race examined, the election outcome was confirmed with high levels of statistical assurance (above 90%).

Future Audits

Starting in 2022, the Indiana Secretary of State will double the number of post-election audits after the general election.