Arizona Secretary of State - Michele Reagan

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 Hand Count Designated Margins

In Arizona, hand counts are performed to verify the machine counts from a sample of precincts and early ballots from each County.  The Vote Count Verification Committee meets, pursuant to A.R.S. §16-602 (K), to establish the designated margins for conducting hand counts. 

The Vote Count Verification Committee met on February 28, 2014.  At that meeting, the committee voted to keep the designated margins the same as they have been since 2006.  The designated margin for polling place ballots remained 1% lower than the designated margin for early ballots as it was noted that more room for error in marking ballots exists for early ballots than for polling place ballots.

The designated margins are as follows:
Early Ballots – The designated margin for early ballots is set to five votes or two percent, whichever is greater.
Polling Place – The designated margin for polling place ballots is set to three votes or one percent, whichever is greater.

View the latest report, here.

 History of the Committee

In 2006 the Arizona Legislature passed a law (SB 1557) requiring a random sample of voting precincts to be hand counted after the elections.

Pursuant to A.R.S. §16-602, the Secretary of State appointed seven members of the Vote Count Verification Committee, to designate the margins used in reviewing the hand counting of votes and to set the acceptable variance rate between the machine and hand counts.

Committee members appointed by the Secretary of State:
  • Steve Kizer - Pinal County Software Applications Developer and former Arizona Counties (Pinal & Apache) Elections Director for 6 years.
  • Dr. William Lewis - founding Chairman of the Computer Science Department at Arizona State University and former Chief Information Officer of ASU for 14 years.
  • Ken Matta - Systems Administrator and project lead for logic and accuracy testing of voting equipment and procedures with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office.
  • Dr. William Mishler - Professor at the University of Arizona, Department of Government and Public Policy and Editor of the Journal of Politics.
  • John D. Stewart - Information Systems Consultant with Maricopa County Department of Elections.
  • Michael Totherow - Director, IT Business and Project Management, Maricopa Integrated Health System (MIHS).
  • Christopher M. Bradley - Deputy Budget Director, Maricopa County. Since 1996, Mr. Bradley has extensive experience is forecast models and statistical analysis in handling a $2 billion county budget.

2013 Procedures Manual – Precinct Hand Count & Early Ballot Audit

2011 – Vote Count Verification Committee Designated Margins, October 19, 2011


2006 Forty-seventh Legislature - Second Regular Session, Senate Bill 1557



History of the Committee

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