Wisconsin's largest vote audit in history finds no machine errors in 2022

Auditors found no signs of hacking or machine errors in the November 2022 midterm in Wisconsin, inspecting more than 222,000 ballots by hand and finding only a few mistakes attributed to human error.

Associated Press

February 3, 2023

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The screen of a vote tabulation machine features a graphic displaying how to insert a ballot into the machine alongside the words Insert Here, with text at the top reading Nov 8 2022 Fall General Election Rock County 11/08/2022.

An audit conducted of the performance of voting machines in Wisconsin during the November 2022 election was the largest in state history. (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)

AP News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Election Commission unanimously approved on Feb. 2 the results of a hand-count audit of the November 2022 election, which found that voting machines worked as intended.

Auditors inspected 222,075 ballots — the largest audit in state history — and found only six errors, all caused by humans. They found no signs of hacking, programming errors or machine malfunctions during the midterm.

“We’re not always going to train our way to 100% compliance,” Democratic Commissioner Ann Jacobs said. “I think this is very terrific work.”

Five of the errors discovered were the result of creases through unmarked ballot ovals, which caused voting machines to flag the ballots as overvoted. In the case of an overvote, poll workers are required to remake a ballot, rather than override the machine error. It was unlikely that happened in any of the five errors found, auditors noted in their report.

The sixth error identified was a ballot filled out in green ink, which caused a voting machine not to identify one of the ovals marked. A local clerk told auditors the error was likely missed because of how busy the polling site was.

None of the errors identified would count towards federal standards that set allowable error rates for voting machines.

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