Election Audit Affirms Accuracy of 2023 Primary Count Outcome

Harrisburg, PA – In keeping with Governor Shapiro's commitment to secure and transparent elections, Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt announced today that a statewide audit of the May 16, 2023, Democratic primary for Pennsylvania Supreme Court found no discrepancies between the original and audited unofficial results.

"This risk-limiting audit (RLA), conducted by counties, decisively confirms the accuracy of the outcome of the May primary," Schmidt said. "RLAs provide a scientifically designed and statistically sound procedure to confirm whether counties' voting systems tabulated paper ballots accurately enough that a full hand-count would produce the same reported outcome."

During the pre-certification audit, which concluded on June 2, election officials from 14 counties (Adams, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Chester, Dauphin, Franklin, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Montgomery, Philadelphia, Union, Washington, and Westmoreland) hand-tallied randomly selected ballot batches, then compared those vote totals to the original machine counts for that race. No discrepancy was found between the hand tally and the machine count.

The department and counties determined, through a random selection process on May 22, which race would be audited. Then, on May 25, the department livestreamed the process of randomly selecting the 25 batches of ballots to be audited.

"I want to thank county election officials for their participation in this RLA at a time when they were also busy conducting the 2% statutorily required review that they must perform after each primary and general election," Schmidt said. "Because of their efforts and hard work, Pennsylvanians can feel confident in the accuracy and integrity of the commonwealth's electoral system."

Robust post-election audits have been recommended by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Senate Select Intelligence Committee, and many other experts as part of a strong and resilient election infrastructure.

Pennsylvania began piloting post-election RLA audits in 2019, and the first statewide pilot RLA audit was held in 2020. In November 2022, the Department of State issued a directive instructing counties to conduct a pre-certification RLA after every election.

For more information on RLAs in Pennsylvania, visit vote.pa.gov.


Media Contacts

Matt Heckel

Press Secretary
Department of State Media