SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – The Orange County Registrar of Voters on Friday will begin what it calls a routine audit of the election results to ensure there were no serious errors in the validity of the count.
The risk-limiting audit, which is not required by law, is being done in addition to a manual tally in which one percent of precinct results are counted by hand.
In a risk-limiting audit, software randomly select ballots for election workers to fetch and hand-count.
The audit is not being done in response to allegations of fraud levied by President Donald Trump, Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley stressed.
“Conducting a risk-limiting audit is an excellent way to audit elections and provide an important check on the integrity of the election process.” Kelley said in a statement Thursday. “This is a valuable opportunity to utilize the enhanced auditing capability of Orange County’s voting system, while at the same time ensuring that the outcomes are true and correct.”
More than 1.53 million O.C. residents cast ballots in the election, the largest volume in Orange County’s 131-year history. It correlated to a turnout of 86.6% percent. Kelley said if it reaches 87%, it will be a record.
While it’s nearly impossible to have a 100% error-free election, Kelley said the auditing is designed to ensure the errors, if any, did not affect the outcome of any contests. It doesn’t detect voter registration fraud or ineligible people on the voter rolls, but election officials have other ways to check that, and anyone can report those concerns to the O.C. district attorney or California secretary of state.
On Monday, about 300 pro-Trump demonstrators gathered outside the OC Registrar of Voters’ Santa Ana office to question a voting system they allege is corrupt.
Historically a Republican stronghold, O.C.’s political makeup has undergone a substantial shift in recent years. Its 2016 support of Hillary Clinton marked the county’s first time voting for a Democratic presidential candidate since Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, the Los Angeles Times reported. In 2019, the county’s number of registered Democrats surpassed that of Republicans for the first time since a brief blue burst in the 1970s.
Nearly 54% of Orange County’s ballots were cast for President-Elect Joe Biden in the 2020 election, while 44% voted for President Trump.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)