Checking Election Outcome Accuracy, Post-Election Audit Sampling Methods

55 Pages Posted: 30 Mar 2010 Last revised: 14 Aug 2013

Date Written: March 26, 2010


Methods for determining post-election audit sampling have been the subject of extensive recent research. This article (1) provides an overview of post-election audit sampling methods, focusing on risk-limiting audits, (2) advances and improves three methods for calculating risk-limiting election audit samples, showing how to apply precise margin error bounds to improve the accuracy of existing methods by using new margin error bounds, sampling weights and sampling probabilities that improve the effectiveness of existing approaches for any size audit unit and for single or multi-winner election contests, and (3) provides a new method for estimating post-election audit sample sizes whenever detailed data, expertise, or tools are not available.

Post-election auditing is vital to restoring public oversight over the integrity of an electoral process that has been largely privatized without independent checks and balances.

Suggested Citation

Dopp, Kathy Anne, Checking Election Outcome Accuracy, Post-Election Audit Sampling Methods (March 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Kathy Anne Dopp (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

United States

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