Re: Effect of Precinct Size Variation on Audits

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Sun Aug 20 2006 - 20:30:51 CDT

I had planned to wait until Arthur received the results of the
Stanford review of my paper and Kathy Dopp's before posting anything
further. However, I can no longer delay since Ms. Dopp continues to
post to this list on the subject.

Let's first be clear. The only data that Kathy has from Tarrant
County TX is that which I have also published
at This
data is the result of processing and compressing a lot of the
original detailed data from a real election. It is very high level
summary data. If Kathy wants to use it that's fine, but let's be
clear--I did not suggest that she use it for any project she may have
had going with other analysts. I sent it to her to illustrate why
her method of considering all the polling places to be a single
population from which to draw random samples for audit was flawed. So
far as I know she has never accepted my argument.

Since she seems to be about to publish something different from what
she's been selling up to now that may involve the data I have
mentioned above, and considering her behavior in the recent past, I
have decided to publish my paper on mandatory election audit design
now. I have sent it to a large number of researchers working in the
field of audit design and election integrity assurance. Some of you
may have received it directly from me today. If not, and you'd like
to have your own copy of it you may download a pdf file of it at

I hope you who are interested in the design of audits will read my
paper and consider the metrics I have used to detect data anomalies
which suggest the possibility of vote fraud or unintentional
corruption. The metrics permit the segregation of polling places into
two clusters, one of high probability of potential irregularity, and
one of lower probability.

Clustering the polling places allows a two tiered audit. The first
tier is small sample of polling places from the small high suspicion
cluster. The second tier is a larger sample from the larger cluster
with lower suspicion. There is a 95% probability of detecting
irregularity for each cluster. If the high suspicion cluster yields
evidence of corruption the audit need go no further, and a complete
hand recount would be ordered. In any case, the audit requires
perhaps less than 5 polling place recounts or as many as 32 depending
on whether and when an irregularity is discovered. The total number
of polling places was 211, serving 634 precincts.

  Jerry Lobdill

At 11:10 PM 8/18/2006, you wrote:
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>Today's Topics:
> 1. Re: Effect of Precinct-size Variation on Audits corrected
> (Kathy Dopp)
>Message: 1
>Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 22:10:07 -0600
>From: "Kathy Dopp" <>
>Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Effect of Precinct-size Variation on Audits
> corrected
> <>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
>Attached is another file of Torrant County, TX vote count audit sizes
>required (assuming Torrant county uses precinct-count optical scan
>systems), for Probability = 99% and MaximumMarginShift per Vote Count
>(anything higher is assumed to be noticable immediately without an
>audit) of 40%.
>I've been comparing numbers with Howard Stanislevic, the statistician
>working with VoteTrustUSA, who, as it turns out, has been doing
>similar calculations of audit sample sizes since June in spite of not
>publicly releasing them until this week, but who has not discovered
>the numerical solutions for directly calculating the audit sample
>sizes that Frank and I are using, and which we will be publicly
>releasing soon (hopefully this next week).
>Sharing data with Howard prompted me to take a closer look at the
>precinct-size-variation calcs as I sent them off to Howard. Hence I
>discovered my own programming error. Howard and I get virtually
>identical vote count audit size results now using the same inputs.
>Some very very minor differences in our two results are probably due
>to roundoff differences.
> > Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 21:22:34 -0600
> > From: "Kathy Dopp" <>
> > Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Effect of Precinct-size Variation on Audits
> > corrected
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>End of OVC-discuss Digest, Vol 22, Issue 21

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