In Maryland, every vote will be counted — twice - Technical.ly Baltimore

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Nov. 8, 2016 12:59 pm

In Maryland, every vote will be counted — twice

Boston-based Clear Ballot is set to audit every vote cast in the Free State.
Go vote.

Go vote.

(Photo via Wikimedia Commons user Tom Arthur)

Vote counting won’t end on Election Day in Maryland, but that doesn’t mean the election is #rigged.

The state’s Board of Elections hired a Boston startup to look at every ballot cast in the 2016 General Election.

Clear Ballot says its audit will be the first in the country to analyze 100 percent of the votes cast in a state.

The company makes a tool called ClearAudit that it says eliminates the need for hand-counting ballots. It could be used to resolve a close race.

In the audit, all ballots will be re-tabulated. The system automatically provides a photograph of each ballot, and analyzes ballots that are determined to be “unreadable.” A report will also be produced detailing any discrepancies between the two counts.

The audit is set to begin on Friday, and will be completed before results are formally certified. Proving once again that it’s possible to digitally analyze millions of pieces of data in a weekend, the process of auditing about 3 million votes is expected to take two days.

Along with accolades that come with being the first 100 percent audit in the nation, Maryland’s Board of Elections appears to have good reason to want to audit this election.

The April primary in Baltimore, which included the race for mayor, turned dramatic when the Board of Elections said it would review 1,700 ballots that were “handled improperly.” The election results were ultimately re-certified, and mayoral candidate Sheila Dixon didn’t ultimately call for a recount. But she brought up the irregularities once again when announcing a write-in campaign last month.

The audit appears to offer the state the opportunity to walk away from this election without any of those clouds.

“I look forward to working with Linda Lamone and her staff to ensure the results of the election can be presented to citizens, candidates, parties and the media with complete transparency and utter confidence. Our mission is to bridge the gap between perception and reality and help build trust in America’s voting systems,” Clear Ballot CEO Larry Moore said in a statement.

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