Sneak Preview - Average US County - Election Integrity Vote Count Audit Results

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Wed Aug 09 2006 - 22:26:09 CDT

Josh Mitteldorf asked me to send him the results of my and Frank
Stenger's new vote count audit size calculations for an average US
county size of about 350 vote counts.

For our friends, this is a little sneak preview (not a public release)
of the work of Frank Stenger and myself on a new election integrity
vote count audit calculation. This little preview gives only the
results of calculating vote count audit sizes (to detect
outcome-altering vote miscounts) for a county with N=350 total vote
counts:

http://electionarchive.net/docs_pdf/analysis/US/EIVoteCountAudits-350.pdf

 (The U.S. average number of vote counts may be greater than 350
because I think Josh said that the number of average precincts is
about 350, so the number of total vote counts is greater in counties
using DRE voting machines).

My and Frank's work proves that 1 or 2% vote count audit rates are
insufficient to ensure integrity of election outcomes; and, further,
provides a method to calculate the precise vote count audit rates
needed to ensure the integrity of election outcomes.

We sometimes apply a small adjustment to the calculation of corrupt
counts needed to alter a particular margin when auditing precinct (as
opposed to DRE machine counts) whenever there is large precinct-size
variation and tight margins between candidates. In those specific
cases, the probability of detecting outcome-altering errors would
possibly drop a couple/few percentage points if vote miscounts were
targeted to the largest few precincts.

Jerry Lobdill provided some sample data from Tarrant County which has
large variation in precinct sizes that produces a drop of 2.5% in the
probability of detecting outcome altering miscount (from 95% to 92.5%)
in a tiny range of small candidate margins if miscounts are thusly
targeted to the fewest largest precincts. So Frank and I added an
adjustment that uses the largest precinct sizes and the total number
of ballots cast in any county to ensure that precinct count audits
probabilities still never drop even a little below the desired
probability.

DRE machine counts need no such adjustment for precinct-size variation
obviously because larger precincts must have more DRE machine counts
and naturally have higher probability of being selected. However, we
doublechecked this fact and found it was true.

Our algorithm now produces sample sizes for vote count audits that
produces above any desired level of probability of detecting any vote
miscount that could have wrongfuly altered any election outcome.

Counties using DRE machines would always audit machine counts, not
precinct counts, because, having fewer precinct counts, auditing
precinct counts would result in a much higher audit rate and more work
for the county.

I am very excited. This is the best contribution that I've made to
humanity thus far because this method virtually guarantees accurate
election results!

We are holding back the actual release of the paper while we wait to
have it possibly peer reviewed with some assistance finding reviewers
from computer scientist Arthur Keller of Santa Cruz University; and we
are also asking other friends of NEDA and OVC to likewise peer review
it.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our ability to get this
vital work accomplished.

Again, here is a small sneak preview of the new method that will
virtually ensure integrity of election outcomes! (We double-checked
our work by recalculating the probabilities that our calculated audit
sample sizes give.)

http://electionarchive.net/docs_pdf/analysis/US/EIVoteCountAudits-350.pdf

Our full paper and algorithm for calculating vote count audit
percentages will be released in September.

By the way, if you have detailed election data to upload, we've got
our phase one election data document archive ready for your use at
http://electionarchive.net Please upload any data you obtain. Now is
the time to write letters to your county election officials asking
that they release the detailed vote count data (by precinct by vote
type) that is needed to mathematically detect possible vote count
errors. See this page for sample letters. I just wrote a letter
specific to Utah today and submitted my letter to my own county clerk.
 Please do the same for your own locale and please send me a copy of
your letter to post for others to use for your state. (see
http://electionarchive.net/public/ucv_select_info.php)

-- 
----
Kathy Dopp
http://electionarchive.org
National Election Data Archive
Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections
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Thomas Jefferson in 1816
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Received on Thu Aug 31 23:17:06 2006

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