DAPHNE — Two citizen activists from Lee County have prepared a bill to require each Alabama county to conduct a post-election audit on 10% of the voting precincts. Those sample precincts would be selected at random.
Angela Shepherd and Robert Garris explained the bill to a meeting of the Common Sense Campaign in Daphne on Monday.
Shepherd founded a new non-profit organization named “Voters for Election Integrity.” Garris, an attorney, was a seven-and-a-half-year manager of elections for Lee County and now works in the Lee County Revenue office.
The bill is titled “the Alabama Post-election Audit Act. Garris said the bill will be sponsored by State Rep. Debbie Wood (R-Valley).
Audits would be done in county and statewide general elections, not in party primaries.
The audit would be done for one randomly selected election race in each selected precinct.
Garris said the idea for the random audit is based on a previous audit in three counties implemented by former Secretary of State John Merrill.
“You have to start somewhere,” Garris said.
The bill states: “…the canvassing board of each county shall conduct a post-election audit consisting of a manual tally of all ballots in not less than the percent of randomly selected precincts for one randomly selected race in each precinct that appeared on the ballot and is not subject to a recount or election contest.”
“If, at the conclusion of the audit, there is a discrepancy in the results, the canvassing board shall determine if the discrepancy may be reconciled by further review of official results and the manual tally.”
The post-election audit will commence within 72 hours after certification of results.
In a written statement, Shephard said: “Alabama is one of only a handful of states that do not perform a post-election audit of results. This should be distinguished from recounts or election contests.”
The Common Sense Campaign is a citizen activist group in Mobile and Baldwin Counties of Alabama, operating since 2009.
The bill would be introduced in the 2024 regular legislative session on the first Tuesday in February.
Jim Zeigler is former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. He can be reached at: [email protected].