Mercer County is the first in Pennsylvania to do enhanced audits of election results using new recommendations.
Mercer and Philadelphia counties approved the purchase of new voting systems in recent weeks.
County officials will begin using mathematically proven sampling to verify each election results beginning with the November 2019 election.
“This is a major step forward in ensuring the accuracy and integrity of elections in Pennsylvania,” Acting Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said. “Philadelphia and Mercer are true leaders, paving the way for the commonwealth to develop best practices and carry out the most verifiable elections possible.”
Earlier in February, Mercer County Board of Elections approved the use of paper ballots with the ES&S DS200 optical scanners, along with ES&S Express Vote accessible ballot-marking devices.
“Mercer County is honored to have been asked by the Department of State to be on the ground floor of what is expected to be the future of post-election audits in Pennsylvania,” Director of Elections Jeff Greenburg said. “While we are certainly aware there are many hurdles to overcome before this is implemented statewide, we recognize how important this can be to strengthen our voters’ trust and faith in elections.”
One type of audit that is being considered is what is being called a risk-limiting audit, which involves hand counting of key samples of voter-verified paper records.
Pennsylvania has committed to having every county employing such enhanced audits by the 2022 general election.