State Audit Laws Searchable Database

State Audit Laws - Florida

This information was reviewed in March 2017.

State Summary:

Signed into law in 2007, Florida's audit law is not binding on official results, does not lead to a full recount, and audits only one randomly-selected election contest, selected separately in each county. No contest with boundaries greater than a county-wide contest can be effectively audited. In 2013 the audit law was amended to provide, in addition to a manual audit, the option of an "automated independent audit".

Florida's audit provisions can be found in Florida Statutes §101.591. Audit procedures are detailed in Administrative Rule 1S-5.026 Post-Election Certification Voting System Audit (pdf).

Transparency:

No statutory guidance allowing observers to verify ballot marks
Statutes require that audit results and data be made public
Statutes specify that audits must be conducted publicly

The manual audit "shall consist of a public manual tally of the votes cast in one randomly selected race that appears on the ballot." SeeFla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(2)(a).
The automated audit "shall consist of a public automated tally of the votes cast across every race that appears on the ballot." SeeFla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(2)(b).

Fla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(5) requires the county canvassing board to produce a report within 15 days after completion of the audit and details the required contents of the report.

Voting Systems Used:

Mixed paper ballot and DREs without VVPAT

Precinct-count optical scanners are used as the primary voting system in counties statewide. Some counties provide DREs without VVPAT for accessibility while others use ballot marking devices. For details visit the Florida page on The Verifier.

Binding:

No statutory guidance whether audit results are binding on official results

Florida's statutes do not state that the audit results shall amend or in any way effect the official results.

Addressing Discrepancies and Continuing the Audit:

No statutory guidance for expanding the audit

Local election officials are to submit a report of the audit results and any discrepancies to the Department of State, including "Recommended corrective action with respect to avoiding or mitigating such circumstances in future elections." However, no further action based on the audit results or discrepancies is required by statute. See Fla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(5).

Audit Comprehensiveness:

Absentee ballots included in audit
Ballots counted by hand on election day included in the audit
Early voted ballots included in audit
Provisional ballots included in audit

Fla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(2) requires that both the manual audit and automatic audit "shall include election-day, vote-by-mail, early voting, provisional, and overseas ballots, in at least 1 percent but no more than 2 percent of the precincts chosen at random by the county canvassing board or the local board responsible for certifying the election."

Additional Targeted Samples:

No statutory guidance for additional targeted samples

Contests and Issues Audited:

Randomly selected election contests or ballots issue are audited

One randomly selected election contest is to be chosen for the audit. Each county conducts their random selection separately, however, so counties may audit different contests. See Fla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(2).

Type of Audit Units:

Precincts/districts

The manual audit must be conducted in at least 1% but not more than 2% of precincts. See Fla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(2). The administrative rules further clarify that 2% of precincts in the selected contest are audited. See Administrative Rule 1S-5.026, Subsection (5)(c).

For automated independent audits the statute calls for "at least 20 percent of the precincts chosen at random," see Fla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(2)(b). See the state summary above for more information about the automated independent audit.

Counting Method:

Electronic count
Hand count

Fla. Stat. Ann. §101.591(1) states the audit shall be a manual audit or an automated, independent audit.

Oversight and Conduct of Audit: The audit is conducted by the county canvassing board or local board, and audit results are reported to the Department of State. The random selection is conducted at the local level.

Timeline for Audit: The audit is conducted after certification, and must be completed within seven days after certification.

Additional Resources:


Florida Division of Elections
Florida Statutes - Title IX - Electors and Elections
Rule 1S-5.026 : Post-Election Certification Voting System Audit



SEARCH RESULTS