General Primary Election Audit

May 09, 2024

WHO: Northampton County Elections Office


WHAT: General Primary Election Audit


This week, the Northampton County Elections Office conducted two types of post-election April 23, 2024 General Primary Election Audits.


Pennsylvania law requires counties to perform a 2% statistical sample audit. The statistical recount is a random sample of at least 2% of the ballots cast or 2,000 ballots, whichever number is fewer. The recount is conducted using manual, mechanical, or electronic devices of a type different than those used for the specific election.

The Northampton County Elections Office randomly selected four precincts, one each from within the four County Council districts to meet the 2% statistical sample. The final precincts that were selected were Bethlehem 14-2, Hanover 1, Forks Eastern 1, and Lehigh Township Central. There were a total of 1,330 ballots counted. The ballots were run through the DS950 scanner again to make sure the results matched the initial count.

The Department of State also selected Northampton County at random to participate in a Risk Limiting Audit (RLA) of the Election results for the April 23, 2024, General Primary Election.

The Department of State randomly selected a number of counties to participate in the post-election RLA. The RLA is a procedure that uses statistical methods to confirm election outcomes and to detect possible interference. RLAs examine a random sample of paper and machine ballots, comparing the votes on paper to the totals reported by the vote-counting machines to ensure that the reported outcome of the contest being audited is correct.

The Department of State selected three random batches of ballots (2 batches of absentee/mail-in ballots and 1 canister of machine ballots) for the RLA. The batches were each run through a Central Scanner and then counted by hand tally for the two candidates from the State Treasurer (Democratic) race.

The results from both audits matched the initial counts.


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