Audit Shows Clean 2021 General Election in Ohio

by J.D. Davidson


An audit by Ohio county boards of election showed a clean 2021 general election, according to Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

LaRose recently announced post-election mandatory audits from all counties were finalized for the 2021 general election, and results showed a 99.9% accuracy rate in counties that used a percentage-based audit.

Only Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties did not perform percentage-based audits, using an allowable risk limiting audit instead. All of Ohio’s other 86 counties used a percentage-based audit.

LaRose began ordering audits after each election when it took office in 2019. He calls the audits a post-election comprehensive review of results of at least three contests in each county, using either a percentage-based audit or a risk-limiting audit.

LaRose used the Cleveland mayoral race as an example where 232,149 ballots were cast in 332 precincts and 58,418 ballots were audited from randomly selected batches. That race, according to LaRose, proved a 100% accuracy rate.

“When I took the oath of office, I had a clear mission – to ensure Ohio voters have confidence their voice was heard in honest elections,” LaRose said. “The transparency of this process, conducted by election officials from both parties, and the accuracy of the audit results should reinforce every voter’s belief that their vote mattered and was counted accurately. Ohioans can be proud that our state runs secure and fair elections.”

The percentage-based audits have boards of election randomly select precincts, polling locations or individual machines to ensure a review of 5% of the total votes cast for the county. It looks at the top race on the ballot, a statewide race selected at random and at least one non-statewide race.

A risk-limiting audit selects ballots randomly based on statistical sampling using margin of victory and the risk limit. It looks at the same three race categories.

The 2021 general election resulted in 18 tied races statewide. In all, 12 candidate races and six local issue races ended in a tie.

Candidate races are decided by a coin flip or a similar method, and all but two of the 12 flipped a coin. In Fulton and Shelby counties, the winner was selected by drawing the winning name.

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J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher. He is a regional editor for The Center Square.
Photo “Vote Here” by Lorie Shaull CC BY 2.0.




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