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County completes election audit 

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The El Paso County Clerk and Recorder's office, which coordinated the November election, just completed the first round of a state-mandated risk-limiting audit. That audit, the first of its kind in the nation, is designed to provide strong statistical evidence that the election outcome is consistent with how voters cast their ballots. It was ordered by the Legislature in 2007, but implementation was delayed until now — a time, conveniently, when concerns about hacking and other forms of interference are of utmost public interest. (The U.S. intelligence community believes parts of the nation's voting system were subject to cyber attacks during the 2016 presidential election.)

Here, the audit focused on the only county-wide issue on the November ballot — 1A, the question about county revenue retention — which passed with nearly 70 percent approval. Election officials reviewed 15 randomly selected ballots to verify their markings and tabulation. (That sample size may seem small, but it's considered satisfactory under state election rules because of the wide margin of victory.)

The results posted on the Colorado Secretary of State's website show no discrepancies or disagreements, so for El Paso County, the process ends here, though other counties may have more work to do.

The Clerk's office is also currently recounting the results in the race for Board of Directors in Academy School District 20, though that's due to an incredibly close race, not an overall need to control risk. The recount must be completed by Dec. 7.

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