Post-election tabulation audit

1. A post-election audit that involves hand-counting a sample of votes on paper records, then comparing those counts to the corresponding vote totals originally reported: as a check on the accuracy of election results, and to detect discrepancies using accurate hand counts of the paper records as the benchmark.

Source: Election Terminology Glossary - Draft, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST),

2. A procedure that takes place after an election in which a sample of ballots from the election is recounted by hand in order to check the electronic vote tallies reported on election night. A sample of ballots is chosen by randomly choosing audit units. Audit units may be entire precincts, individual voting machines, or batches of absentee ballots that were subtotaled on election night. Some advocates and voting experts argue that in addition to the randomly chosen audit units, post-election audits should also include a number of audit units chosen by candidates for office. Post-election audit practices vary considerably among the states that will conduct them in 2012.

Source: COUNTING VOTES 2012: A State by State Look at Voting Technology Preparedness, Verified Voting Foundation, Rutgers School of Law - Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic & Common Cause Education Fund,