Carter Center Issues Preliminary Statement on Georgia’s 2022 Risk-Limiting Audit Process

ATLANTA — Georgia’s risk-limiting audit process examining the 2022 secretary of state race was transparent and well-conducted, with only minor problems that can be corrected through more standardization and training, The Carter Center said in a preliminary report issued today.

According to the report, county election officials provided meaningful access to partisan and nonpartisan observers, as well as the public, and the audit should bolster confidence in the results.

The Carter Center, which has observed more than 110 elections in 39 countries and also observed the 2020 audit in Georgia, was invited to observe the 2022 risk-limiting audit by the Office of the Secretary of State. It sent about 40 nonpartisan observers to 34 counties on Nov. 17 and 18 to systematically collect information about the risk-limiting audit process, which is considered the gold standard in post-election auditing and requires hand counting a statistically significant percentage of ballots to determine whether the reported results are valid.

Few counties where The Carter Center observed had issues that required recounting or other mitigations. Audit spaces were well-organized and had plenty of room to allow observers to watch the counting process without interfering with the audit board members. Most counties observed by the Center finished auditing by early afternoon on the first day.

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, The Carter Center encourages the Office of the Secretary of State and Georgia’s counties to find ways to maximize transparency and to expand training to help ensure the continued standardization of the auditing process across the state.

Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.
A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care. The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.