44.3.1719 SELECTION PROCESS FOR RANDOM-SAMPLE AUDIT
(1) Within seven to nine days after a federal election, the Secretary of State shall call a public meeting of the board to randomly select the races, ballot issues, and precincts to be audited pursuant to the Postelection Audit Act. Such public meeting will be posted no later than five days prior to the meeting date on the Secretary of State's web site.
(2) A county exempt from the postelection audit requirements because it does not use a vote-counting machine or has a race that is within the margins of a recount pursuant to Title 13, chapter 16, part 2, MCA, shall notify the Secretary of State of its exemption no later than seven days after the election by submitting a notice for exemption on the form approved by the Secretary of State.
(3) Pursuant to 13-17-503, MCA, at least 5% of the precincts in each county, or a minimum of one precinct in a county, shall be audited, whichever is greater. The board shall utilize current official precinct information provided by the counties to the Secretary of State to determine the number of precincts to be audited per county. Three additional precincts in each county will be selected pursuant to 13-17-505, MCA, in case a discrepancy in vote tallies occurs that necessitates further auditing.
(4) To select the specific races and precincts to be audited, the board shall use ten-sided dice with numerals from 0 to 9 as the method of random selection. One, two, or three dice shall be used as specified below. The dice shall be red, white, and blue in color where red is the first number, white is the second number, and blue is the third number, if necessary.
(a) The precincts shall be numbered with consecutive numbers from 00 up to the actual number of precincts for counties having from 11 to 100 precincts, i.e., precinct 1 is numbered 01, precinct 2 is numbered 02 and so on until all the precincts in a county have been numbered. Precinct 100 will be numbered 00. For counties with 101 or more precincts, the precincts shall be numbered with consecutive numbers from 101 up to the actual number of precincts.
(b) One or two ten-sided dice shall be used to select one statewide office race, if any, one federal office race, one legislative office race, and one statewide ballot issue, if any, by assigning a number to each district or race based on its order of placement on the ballot.
(c) One ten-sided die shall be used to select the precinct to be audited for counties consisting of ten or less precincts, with 0 representing precinct 10.
(d) Two ten-sided dice shall be utilized to select the precinct or precincts to be audited for those counties consisting of 11 to 100 precincts.
(e) Three ten-sided dice shall be utilized to select the precincts to be audited for any counties consisting of more than 100 precincts.
(f) The board may decide to assign a number range of equal intervals to each precinct to reduce the number of dice throws needed, e.g., 0 – 2 = precinct 1, 3 – 5 = precinct 2, 6 – 8 = precinct 3, etc.
(5) The board shall determine the order in which board members will throw the dice. Board members will rotate dice throwing after each 30-minute interval. A ribbed tumbler and dice tray shall be utilized to accomplish the dice throw. The Secretary of State shall record the results on the prescribed form.
(6) Once the races and the precincts to be audited have been selected, the Secretary of State shall notify each county election administrator of the race and precinct selections and post the selections on the Secretary of State's web site.
(7) The Secretary of State in collaboration with the counties will provide guidance to the counties as to the method the counties will use to ensure all individual precinct ballots, including but not limited to each precinct's absentee ballots, are accounted for in a manner that will correlate to a specific vote-counting machine. The method will ensure that the postelection audit is a blind count.
History: 13-17-503, MCA; IMP, 13-17-503, 13-17-504, 13-17-505, 13-17-506, 13-17-507, MCA; NEW, 2010 MAR p. 1548, Eff. 4/16/10.