There are two legal issues:
For precinct-count systems and DREs, the law and rule are consistent in calling for a one percent manual tally, and for audits of actual election results. The rule for central count machines should call for no less.
In particular, as recommended during testimony before the legislature last spring, for the Hart InterCivic equipment the rule should select a significant number of batches of votes, and a significant total number of ballots, for manual tallies. See this document for details: http://www.coloradovoter.net/moin.cgi/ManualCountAudit
Here is the relevant text from the statute:
1-7-514 (1) (a) (I) ... where a central count voting device is in use in the county, the rules promulgated by the secretary pursuant to subsection (5) of this section shall require an audit of a specified percentage of ballots counted within the county.and here is the relevant rule, from http://www.elections.colorado.gov/WWW/default/Rule%20Making/2005/electionrules_8-4-05.pdf:
22.214.171.124 For Optical Scanners used for the purpose of counting ballots in a Central Count/vote center environment as defined herein, the designated election official shall randomly select one (1) percent but not more than one hundred (100) ballots of all the ballots counted on the specific audited device. If the amount of ballots is less than one hundred (100) on the audited device, then all of the ballots will be manually verified. The public counter for that voting device shall be reset to zero, and the ballots shall be recounted on the voting device. A new report will be generated from the electronic count of the ballots and shall be manually verified. The ballots and a copy of the report shall be sealed in a separate container and secured with the remainder of the official election records for the election. The Secretary of State shall randomly select two races to be manually verified.
The solution to the first problem requires care during the original vote counting process. In order to preserve the principle of random selection of the audited results, it is necessary to obtain tallies for small batches of ballots. During the audit, the elections official then must select random batches, and compare manual tallies for each batch.with the original machine tallies, as is done with other types of equipment.
Hopefully the second problem can be fixed by just substituting the word "less" for "more", and making sure the percentage refers to all votes centrally counted, rather than to just the ballots counted on that particular machine:
the designated election official shall randomly select one (1) percent but not less than one hundred (100) ballots of all the ballots counted on all the Central Count/vote center equipment.Anyone can watch the audit just by getting a candidate or issue committee to appoint them using the normal pollwatcher form that the County has.
Results are being posted at http://www.elections.colorado.gov/DDefault.aspx?tid=625
Colorado Statutes: 1-7-514. Random audit. Spring 2005
(1) (a) (I) Following each primary, general, coordinated, or congressional district vacancy election, the secretary of state shall publicly initiate a manual random audit to be conducted by each county and shall randomly select not less than one percent of the voting devices used in each county; except that, where a central count voting device is in use in the county, the rules promulgated by the secretary pursuant to subsection (5) of this section shall require an audit of a specified percentage of ballots counted within the county.
(II) For an election taking place in a county prior to the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the audit shall be for the purpose of comparing the manual tallies of the ballots counted by each voting device selected for each such audit with the corresponding tallies recorded directly by each such device.
(III) For an election taking place in a county on or after the date the county has satisfied the requirements of section 1-5-802, the audit shall be conducted for the purpose of comparing the manual tallies of the voter-verified paper records produced or employed by each voting device selected for such audit with the corresponding ballot tallies recorded directly by each such device.
(b) To the extent practicable, no voting device that is used for the random audit required by paragraph (a) of this subsection (1) shall be used for conducting the testing of voting devices for recount purposes required by section 1-10.5-102 (3) (a).
(2) (a) Upon completion of the audit required by subsection (1) of this section, if there is any discrepancy between the manual tallies, as specified in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (II) or (III) of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of this section, as applicable, of the voting device selected for the audit, and the corresponding tallies recorded by such devices, and the discrepancy is not able to be accounted for by voter error, the county clerk and recorder, in consultation with the canvass board of the county established pursuant to section 1-10-101, shall investigate the discrepancy and shall take such remedial action as necessary in accordance with its powers under this title.
(b) Upon receiving any written complaint from a registered elector from within the county containing credible evidence concerning a problem with a voting device, the canvass board along with the county clerk and recorder shall investigate the complaint and take such remedial action as necessary in accordance with its powers under this title.
(c) The county clerk and recorder shall promptly report to the secretary of state the results of any completed audit or investigation conducted pursuant to paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection (2).
(3) The secretary of state shall post the results of any completed audit or investigation conducted pursuant to the requirements of subsection (2) of this section on the official website of the department of state not later than twenty-four hours after receiving the results of the completed audit or investigation. The clerk and recorder of the affected county may timely post the results of the completed audit or investigation on the official website of the county. The secretary shall publish once in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the state notification to the public that the results have been posted on the department's website.
(4) Any audit conducted in accordance with the requirements of this section shall be observed by at least two members of the canvass board of the county.
(5) The secretary of state shall promulgate such rules, in accordance with article 4 of title 24, C.R.S., as may be necessary to administer and enforce any requirement of this section, including any rules necessary to provide guidance to the counties in conducting any audit required by this section. The rules shall account for:
(a) The number of ballots cast in the county;
(b) An audit of each type of voting device utilized by the county; and
(c) The confidentiality of the ballots cast by the electors. History
Source: L. 2005: Entire section added, p. 1409, § 27, effective June 6; entire section added, p. 1444, § 27, effective June 6.