AN ACT requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election.


SPONSORS: Sen. Gray, Dist 6; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Rep. Baroody, Hills. 43


COMMITTEE: Election Law and Municipal Affairs






This bill requires an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 state primary and general elections.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Two


AN ACT requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Audit Authorized.  The secretary of state is hereby authorized to conduct an audit of the 2022 state primary and general elections.

2  Equipment and Technical Assistance.  The secretary of state shall procure the equipment and arrange for any required technical assistance to support the audit process.  The equipment selected shall be capable of:

I.  Reading AccuVote ballots.

II.  Scanning approximately 2,000 ballots per hour.

III.  Capturing an image of both sides of the ballot.

IV.  Recording the voters' choices.

V.  Assigning a unique identifier to each record.

VI.  Displaying the ballot image and voter choice for randomly selected ballots by the unique identifier.

3  Preliminary Audit; State Primary Election.  The secretary of state shall conduct an audit of at least 2 AccuVote devices used in the 2022 state primary election.  The devices need not be selected at random.  The intent of this audit is to identify problems with process to be used in the state general election audit.

4  State General Election Audit; 2022.  

I.  The secretary of state shall randomly select one to 3 percent of AccuVote devices, but not less than 4 such devices, to be used at the 2022 state general election to be audited.  The secretary of state may divide devices into groups for the selection based on criteria such as the estimated number of election day ballots to be processed.  The selection of devices to be audited shall be non-public and made at least 2 weeks prior to the general election, after the AccuVote memory cards have been programed.

II.  The secretary of state shall not announce which devices have been selected to be audited until at least 12:00 p.m. on election day, and if a device is selected in a community that uses multiple devices the exact device shall not be identified until after the polls close.

III.  The audit team shall consist of at least 2 individuals appointed by the secretary of state.  One such individual shall have been trained by the secretary of state in the audit process and the use of audit equipment.  The other individual, if not trained by the secretary of state in the audit process and the use of audit equipment, shall be an elected election official.  The audit team shall scan all of the ballots which were cast and processed by the selected AccuVote machines.

IV.  The audit shall be open to the public but no one except audit team members shall be allowed to touch any ballot or any of the audit equipment.

V.  Results from the scanning of the ballots shall be announced by the audit team at the conclusion of the device audit.

VI.  A random sample of not less than 5 percent of the ballots scanned shall be selected and the images of the ballots selected shall be compared with the voters' choices recorded for the ballot.  Any differences identified during the comparison shall be documented.

VII.  The secretary of state shall make the results of the audits available prior to 12:00 p.m. on the Friday after the election.  The secretary shall also report the results to the ballot law commission, and the chairs of the house of representatives and senate standing committees with jurisdiction over election law.

5  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.




Redraft 12/15/21





AN ACT requiring an audit of ballots cast in the 2022 primary and general election.


FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None




Estimated Increase / (Decrease)


FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

FY 2025













$50,000 to $100,000



Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [    ] Other







This bill authorizes the Secretary of State to conduct an audit of ballots cast in the State's 2022 primary and general elections by procuring equipment to scan and record ballots.  The Department of State indicates the fiscal impact of this bill would be a one time cost to State General Fund expenditures in the amount of $50,000 to $100,000 in FY 2023 to purchase and program a new high speed scanner.  



Department of State