The ballots cast in Loudoun County’s Nov. 3, 2020, elections will get another look this week.
The state conducts an annual statewide risk-limiting audit of ballot machines under a law passed in 2017 and an auditing program piloted in Fairfax County in 2018. Loudoun began participating in 2019. The audit involves examining a random sampling of ballots to check for evidence of a wrong outcome. It also serves to bolster voter confidence in election results, which has been under assault from some politicians, media outlets and social media.
“This statewide audit helps to support the idea that the integrity of the election process is always of the utmost importance. The Department [of Elections] is continually vigilant on matters related to the security and accuracy of the vote in Virginia,” stated Virginia Commissioner of Elections Christopher Piper. “The ability to meaningfully participate in our democracy is one of the most important rights we have as citizens, and the Department of Elections is dedicated to maintaining voter confidence in the democratic process.”
“The audit helps support the integrity of the election process. It uses a random sample of voted ballots to manually look for evidence that the originally reported outcome of the election is correct,” stated Loudoun General Registrar Judy Brown. “Unfortunately, this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot have the general public watch in person, but they will be able to observe the audit remotely.”
The audit will be Tuesday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Local election officials and observers appointed by local political parties participate in the audits. The public may also observe, although this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that will be done remotely. Details on how to participate may be found at loudoun.gov/remoteparticipation.