Updates > U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence Releases Voluntary, Nonpartisan Ballot and Audit Standards for Public Comment

U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence Releases Voluntary, Nonpartisan Ballot and Audit Standards for Public Comment

CHICAGO – The nonpartisan U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence, a collaborative that is working on a voluntary, nonpartisan set of standards designed by election officials to ensure that local election officials are following best practices has released its third set of standards – focusing on ballots and audit standards –  for public comment.

The Alliance ballot and audit standards were developed based on feedback from nearly 50 election departments that serve 30.5 million voters. The departments range in size from serving 988 voters to as many as 4.7 million voters. 

“The Alliance has made it a priority to solicit feedback from stakeholders during the development of our nonpartisan standards, and that is no different when it comes to best practices for ballots and audits,” said Tiana Epps-Johnson, founder and executive director of the Center for Tech and Civic Life. “Election departments will take different approaches to achieve these standards based on the election policies in their states, but election departments that pursue these standards are committing to handling ballots with integrity, which can improve voter confidence in the election process.”

“From ballot creation to audits of processes and results, nothing an election official does is more important to building trust in the process,” said Matthew Tlachac a former election advisor with the Ohio Secretary of State. “I hope election offices across the country review these standards, which can help ensure that operations are built on a rock-solid foundation.”

The ballot and audit standards define excellence by focusing on four areas: ballot creation, voting resources allocation, secure ballot management and tabulation audits. Key recommendations of the standards include:

Ballot creation

Your election office creates ballots that are well-designed, accurate, and in formats that meet voters’ needs. 

Voting resources allocation

Your election office allocates the needed ballots, supplies, and equipment for voters to cast their ballots with ease. 

Secure ballot management

Your office protects ballot security from printing to storage using comprehensive ballot handling processes.  

Tabulation audits

Your election office conducts tabulation audits on your voting equipment prior to certification to ensure the results are accurate.  

View more about the standard on the Alliance website.

The election community is invited to share feedback on the standards here. The deadline for feedback is August 9. Previously the alliance released a set of communications and poll worker standards for public comment, and a set of values that guides the collaborative’s work.

The U.S. Alliance for Election Excellence is a nonpartisan collaborative that is bringing together election officials, designers, technologists, and other experts to envision, support, and celebrate excellence in U.S. election administration. The collaborative is led by the Center for Tech and Civic Life.