Post-Election Audit Confirms Accuracy of 2023 Municipal General Election's Reported Outcome

Harrisburg, PA – In keeping with Governor Shapiro's commitment to secure and transparent elections, Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt announced today that a statewide audit of the Nov. 7, 2023, Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge race confirmed that the reported outcome of the election was accurate.

"Risk-limiting audits, or 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," Schmidt said. "By conducting this RLA, counties verified that Pennsylvanians can feel confident that the reported 2023 General Election results were accurate."

During the RLA, election officials from 33 counties tallied the 105 batches of ballots that were randomly selected. The officials then compared those vote totals to the original machine counts for that race.

Schmidt reported that auditors identified 24 discrepancies among the 201,715 total votes they reviewed, which is a margin of 0.01% -- or about one-100th of 1% of all ballots audited. Such discrepancies are typically the result of human error when manually tabulating audit results or stray and unclear marks on a ballot, which can lead to subjective decisions about a voter's intent.
"Counties have been hard at work since the Nov. 7 election not only participating in the RLA, but also conducting the 2% statutorily required audit they must perform after each primary and general election," Schmidt said. "I want to thank all of our election officials across the Commonwealth for putting in this necessary work, which allows Pennsylvanians to know their votes are being accurately and fairly counted."

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 September 2022, the Department of State issued a directive instructing counties to conduct a pre-certification RLA after every election.

The Department and counties used a random selection process on Nov. 9 to determine which race would be audited. Then, on Nov. 16, the Department livestreamed the process of generating the random seed number that ultimately identified the batches of ballots to be audited.

For more information on RLAs in Pennsylvania, visit


Editor's note: These 33 counties had batches of ballots randomly selected for audit:

  • Adams
  • Allegheny
  • Beaver
  • Berks
  • Blair
  • Bucks
  • Centre
  • Chester
  • Columbia
  • Crawford
  • Cumberland
  • Dauphin
  • Delaware
  • Erie
  • Forest
  • Juniata
  • Lancaster
  • Lawrence
  • Lebanon
  • Lehigh
  • Luzerne
  • Mercer
  • Monroe
  • Montgomery
  • Northampton
  • Philadelphia
  • Pike
  • Snyder
  • Tioga
  • Washington
  • Wayne
  • Westmoreland
  • York

Media Contacts

Matt Heckel

Press Secretary
Department of State Media