Election Audit Summit

Since the 2016 election, concern over the integrity of the computer systems that manage elections in the United States has increased—making it increasingly important to identify and prevent attempts to subvert the effective administration of elections. Now more than ever, it is critical for the scientific and election administration communities to cooperate in developing and implementing strategies for doing so.

The Election Audit Summit provided a space for engineers, social scientists, legal scholars, election officials, and the public to discuss the new strategies that are developing in the field of post-election auditing. Participants explored key issues and perspectives from across the scientific, policy, and legal worlds, contributing to the advancement of our collective knowledge and dialogue.

The Voting Technology Project has released a summary report of the conference, which provides details from nearly all panelists. The report is now available online at the following link:


Watch the Summit

The summit took place December 7-8, 2018 in Cambridge, MA.


Watch the sessions online, and join the continuing conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #ElectionAudits:


Summit Program & Papers

Over two days, the summit featured two dozen contributors, panelists, and discussants from a range of backgrounds in lively conversation on the current status and future directions of election audits. Details about the sessions and the materials provided by panelists are included below. Presentation materials are linked in each panelist's name.

Summit papers and suggested background material will also be linked here as they become available, for your reference.

  • Summit Program


    Morning Session:

    8:30 - 9:00am.  Breakfast & Participant Registration.

    9:00 - 9:15am.  Introductions and Welcome. Introduction to the conference, overview of goals and agenda, and conference logistics.

    • Charles Stewart III (MIT)

    9:15 - 10:30am.  Current status of post-election auditing and recount practices. Panel discussion with academics and practitioners to lay out the intellectual, policy, and legal issues, as they currently stand, in the area of election auditing.

    10:45 - 12:00pm.  New statistical approaches to auditing vote tabulation and recounts. Presentations about new auditing perspectives and approaches to assessing election integrity outside the post-election auditing framework.

    - Lunch -

    Afternoon Session:

    1:15 - 2:30pm.  What Colorado Can Teach Us about Post-Election Audits. A panel focusing on the implementation of risk-limiting audits in Colorado, providing perspectives from inside and outside the Secretary of State’s office.

    2:30 - 3:45pm.  Auditing simulation. Led by Professor Philip Stark, this session involved a hands-on simulation intended to provide intuitive insights into the statistical principles that undergird post-election auditing. Instructions for the simulation can be found here.

    4:00 - 5:15pm.  Looking beyond Colorado: Changing technology and state policy. A panel with two related themes. The first is the role of technology in post-election audits, and the ability of current, or anticipated, technologies to facilitate audits. The second is the issue of moving a state without a history of post-election audits into the world of auditing.


    Morning Session:

    8:30 - 9:00am.  Breakfast.

    9:00 - 10:30am.  New directions for comprehensive auditing and forensics. A panel discussing advances in auditing elections beyond election returns, including geography, ballot design, voter registration, and end-to-end verification.

    10:45 - 12:00pm.  From here-to-there. This panel, composed of individuals who represent scientific, engineering, legal, and administrative perspective, wrapped up the summit presentations and discussion, and suggested how to plot a course to expand research and implementation in this area.

    • Ben Adida (VotingWorks)

    • Edward Foley (Ohio State University)

    • Matthew Masterson (Department of Homeland Security)

    • William Kresse (Chicago Board of Election Commissioners)

  • Travel Information

    The conference will take place on the MIT campus itself, near the Kendall Square MBTA stop. There are a number of convenient hotels nearby, including the Boston-Cambridge Marriott and the Kendall Hotel.

    Please see the final program to confirm the start and ending times for the summit, as well as the exact location of the sessions. Registration will open at 8:30 on the morning of the 7th, and the final session will wrap midday on the 8th.

About the Summit



The Election Audit Summit is an activity of the Caltech/MIT Voting Techology Project, with support from the MIT Election Data and Science Lab.

Logos for the MIT Election Lab and the Voting Technology Project

Organizing Committee


Registration for this event is closed.

To view the event sessions, please visit the summit webcast page.


Claire DeSoi