2010 Tennessee Code
Title 2 - Elections
Chapter 20 - Tennessee Voter Confidence Act
2-20-103 - Hand count audits of voter-verified paper ballots Variance Certification of results.

2-20-103. Hand count audits of voter-verified paper ballots Variance Certification of results.

(a)  For each election, each county election commission shall conduct mandatory hand count audits of the voter-verified paper ballots of at least the top race in the federal, state, county or municipal election, if on the ballot, which hand count audits shall include three percent (3%) of the votes cast prior to the election for the races to be audited, and shall also be conducted in at least three percent (3%) of the precincts, as follows:

     (1)  The selection of the precincts in a county in which the county election commission shall conduct hand count audits of the voter-verified paper ballots as specified in this section shall be made public by the county election commission on an entirely random basis using a uniform distribution in which all precincts in a county have an equal chance of being selected;

     (2)  As soon as practical, following the closing of the polls, the county election commission shall:

          (A)  Complete the initial vote count for each and every precinct participating in the election in that county and publicly announce the unofficial results of each such initial vote count as soon as the results are available;

          (B)  Conduct a random drawing as specified by this section to determine which precincts will be selected and publicly announce the results of the drawing;

          (C)  Initiate the mandatory hand count audits of the voter-verified paper ballots of the top race and any other race, if additional races are selected for audit by the county election commission, in the precincts selected when all ballots, including provisional ballots, have been counted; and

          (D)  Publicly announce the results of each such mandatory hand count audit; and

     (3)  (A)  If the county election commission finds, as a result of its hand count audit, that there is a variance of less than one percent (1%) between the voter-verified paper ballots counted for any race included in the hand count audit and the initial unofficial machine vote count in any of the precincts selected for the random audit, the election shall be certified for that race and no additional hand count audit shall be required for that race;

          (B)  If, pursuant to subdivision (a)(3)(A), the variance is more than one percent (1%) between the hand count audit and the unofficial machine vote count for any race, the county election commission shall conduct hand count audits in the manner provided in this section at an additional three percent (3%) or more of precincts, as the county election commission considers appropriate, within the county for the same races audited under subdivision (a)(3)(A) where the variance was more than one percent (1%), to resolve any concerns and ensure the accuracy of the results for certification;

          (C)  If the variance in the audits conducted pursuant to subdivision (B) is more than one percent (1%) between the hand count audit and the unofficial machine vote count, the county election commission is authorized to conduct a hand count audit in as many precincts as the commission considers appropriate, to resolve any concerns and ensure the accuracy of the results for certification; and

          (D)  Pursuant to subsection (b), following the hand count audits and the announcement of the results and the availability of the results, the election shall be certified and the election results published. If an election contest is filed pursuant to chapter 17 of this title, the results of the hand count audits shall be considered by any court, primary board, legislative body or tribunal having jurisdiction of an election contest to determine whether a recount is warranted in accordance with § 2-17-117.

(b)  As soon as practicable after the completion of a hand count audit conducted under this section, the county election commission shall publicly announce and make available the results of the audit, and shall include in the announcement a comparison of the results of the election in the precinct as determined by the county election commission under the hand count audit and the initial voting system count in the precincts as previously announced by the county election commission.

(c)  No county may certify the results of any election that is subject to an audit under this section prior to the completion of the hand count audit and the announcement and the availability of the results of the hand count audit.

(d)  A county election commission shall implement the process for mandatory random hand count audits no later than the general election in 2010.

[Acts 2008, ch. 1108, § 3.]  

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