Re: A generic best practice document for New Mexicolegislators

From: Ken Pugh <kpughmisc_at_pughkilleen_dot_com>
Date: Tue Dec 28 2004 - 11:39:05 CST

At 12:41 AM 12/27/2004, you wrote:
>3) Innocent anomalies will occur. Without open systems, errors, fraud, and
>innocent anomalies can appear indistinguishable; for elections to be
>trustable we have to be confident we can distinguish these.

I'm curious as to what people estimate the best possible election result
accuracy could be. I think that numeric goals are something that ought to
be considered as part of a specification.

1.) I'd like to work from the theoretical best to the practical
best. Assume for a moment that ballot secrecy was abolished. If every
ballot was identified by the voter id, then the ballots could be checked
against the voter sign-in lists. Any extraneous ballots would be
eliminated and double voters could be prosecuted. A voter who signed in,
but did not cast a ballot, would be contacted to insure that was his decision.

Given anomalies that occur (failure to sign-in properly, etc.), what
percentage of ballots would be counted erroneously?

1a.) Adding back in secrecy, what percentage of ballots would be
erroneously accepted or rejected? This could be due to ballots being lost
or a voter being handed a ballot without proper sign-in.

1b.) The preceding assumes that the voter was authorized (registered in the
correct precinct) and authenticated (correctly identified as the registered
voter). What percentage of ballots are currently rejected or wrongly
accepted because of errors/failures in the authorization/authentication

2.) Given that ballots are on paper (e.g. mark-sense), what percentage of
votes (for a single office or question) or would be incorrectly recorded
either by the scanning software or by manual recounts? These errors could
be due to a failure of the voter to properly mark their ballot or
re-counters making mistakes.

2a.) If all ballots were scanned for readability prior to the scan for
recording, what percentage of votes might still be recorded incorrectly
during the scan or the manual recounts?

3.) Given correctly marked ballots, what percentage of votes is lost due to
the voter misinterpreting the ballot itself?

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Received on Fri Dec 31 23:17:20 2004

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