Skip to main content

Welcome to the Virginia Department of Elections

How can we help you today?

Risk-limiting Audits

Pursuant to Va. Code §24.2-671.2, risk-limiting audits shall be conducted annually by the local electoral boards and general registrars under the supervision of the Department and in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the State Board of Elections. A risk-limiting audit is a type of post-election audit that utilizes statistical methods and a manual review of paper ballots to confirm that the electronic voting system accurately reported the correct outcome of an election.

NOVEMBER 2023 RISK-LIMITING AUDIT

Pursuant to §24.2-671.2, the November 2023 Risk-Limiting Audit of the Virginia Senate District 20 began on Monday, November 27th at 9 A.M. This included Norfolk City, Virginia Beach City, Northampton County, and Accomack County. The RLA for the Virginia Senate District 20 will use the ballot polling method.

Pursuant to §24.2-671.2(D), the State Board of Elections approved requests from Loudoun County for House of Delegates District 27, Arlington County for Virginia Senate District 40, and Orange County for Orange County Sheriff. These localities requested and were approved to use the batch comparison method for their RLAs.

Click here to download the November 2023 RLA Report

JUNE 2023 RISK-LIMITING AUDIT

Pursuant to §24.2-671.2(D), the State Board of Elections approved a request from the Loudoun County Electoral Board for a risk-limiting audit for the June 2023 Democratic Primary for House of Delegates District 26. The RLA began on June 27, 2023 at 10:00 AM. A representative sample of 10 precincts was randomly chosen and hand tallied. The RLA successfully confirmed the reported election results with the 10% risk-limit being met in the first round of counting. 

Click here to download the June 2023 Risk Limiting Audit Report.

NOVEMBER 2022 RISK-LIMITING AUDIT

Pursuant to §24.2-671.2, the November 2022 Risk-Limiting Audit of the U.S. House of Representatives 9th District officially started on Monday, November 28th and was completed on November 29th. Each locality conducted their ballot retrieval in their locality and in coordination with their local clerk of court at following locations: 2022 District 9 RLA locations

Note: The counties of Bland, Buchanan, Craig, Dickenson, Russell, and Scott as well as the cities of Norton and Bristol did not have any ballots to pull based on the random statistical sample generated by the random seed number.

A representative sample of ballots cast in the election were chosen at random and counted by hand to verify the accuracy of machine counts. The results indicated that there was a .0000004864% chance that the audit of the U.S House of Representatives 9th District contest was inaccurate, providing election officials with strong evidence and confidence in the reported outcome of the election. The audit result fell significantly below the 10 percent risk-limit, confirming the result for the District 9 race accurately portrayed the winner of the election.

Download the results of the 9th Congressional District audit here.

Click here to download the 2022 Risk Limiting Audit Report.

NOVEMBER 2021 RISK-LIMITING AUDIT

In January 2022, the Department of Elections conducted risk-limiting audits of House of Delegate races in both the 13 and 75 Districts that took place during the November 2021 General Election.

The 75 District House of Delegates contest audit results indicated that there was a .00256293556% chance that the outcome of the 75 District race was inaccurate; this means that election officials are over 99.743% confident in the reported outcome of this contest.

Similarly, the 13 District House of Delegates contest audit results indicated that there was .002854934% chance that the outcome of the 13 District race was inaccurate; this means that election officials are over 99.715% confident in the reported outcome of the election."

Both audit results fell significantly below the 10% risk-limit, these results confirm that the results for both contests accurately portrayed the winners of these elections in Virginia. 

Download Results of the 75th House of Delegates audit here.

Download Results of the 13th House of Delegates audit here.

Click here to download the 2021 Risk Limiting Audit Final Report.

NOVEMBER 2020 STATEWIDE AUDIT

The Department of Elections conducted a statewide risk-limiting audit of the November 2020 General Election. Results were announced on March 2, 2021.

The state set a risk measurement of under .1 and the audit results fell well under that measurement. For the Presidential race the audit came in at .0000065117 and for the Senate race, the audit came in at .0000424172. The risk measurement represents the possibility a mistake could be found in the audit large enough to reverse the election result. In other words, these results confirm that the results in Virginia accurately portrayed the winners of these elections in Virginia.

RLA results Nov 3 2020 General.

Click here to download the 2020 Risk Limiting Audit Final Report.

Videos

Risk-Limiting Audit: Random Seed Number Generation (February 22, 2021)
https://youtu.be/Jw1DaJGxvxQ
As part of the risk-limiting audit process for Virginia's 2020 General Election, a random seed number needs to be generated. This allows the software to determine ballot selection for the audit. This recorded video of the live random seed number generation, via rolling of 20 ten-sided dice, demonstrates this important step in the process.

Risk-Limiting Audit Kick-off Meeting (February 16, 2021)
https://youtu.be/C1Zsaj1VQ2E
This video contains brief remarks from Commissioner Chris Piper and a short presentation from VotingWorks' Ginny Vander Roest as Virginia begins its state-wide risk-limiting audit of the November 2020 General Election.

Risk-Limiting Audit Training Session for General Registrars (February 10, 2021)
https://youtu.be/3C1izxpOYWk
This video contains an introduction by Commissioner Chris Piper and training presentation with representatives from VotingWorks. Q&A and additional information follows the presentation. 

PREVIOUS AUDITS

In 2019, eight localities in Virginia conducted risk-limiting audits (RLAs) including: Lancaster County, Franklin City, Bristol City, Loudoun County, Manassas City, Louisa County, Stafford County, and Rockingham County. Thirty-three localities participated in these audits as well. 

In 2018, the City of Fairfax conducted a trial of a post-election risk-limiting audit in coordination with the City of Fairfax's registrar's office. They presented their process to the State Board of Elections on August 15, 2018. The purpose of this trial (pilot) was to establish a feasible post-election audit process that can be repeated in other localities. You can view their materials from that 2018 presentation for more details.

To learn more about what a Risk-Limiting Audit is and how it works, click on this Risk-limiting Audit Overview for details.