Re: Audits are Hand-Counts - a New Audit Proposal

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Jan 25 2007 - 12:58:34 CST

> Date: Thu, 25 Jan 2007 06:25:37 -0600
> From: Jerry Lobdill <>
> Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Audits are Hand-Counts - a New Audit
> Proposal
> The Holt effort seems to be a closed group
> working as secretly as they can and assiduously avoiding input.

I have heard that the same guy that VoteTrustUSA always reports did
(virtually identical) work on the mathematics of audits (that I did a
week or more after I release my work which VoteTrustUSA pretends that
I never did in their articles on the subject), has the ear of Holt's
office, Howard Stanislevic. Howard has recently release work that
purports to show (according to election officials I spoke with) that a
2% or 3% flat audit works well for most election races, and justified
to me via some emails the VoteTrustUSA position in support of small
flat 2% audits (that really do not work well at all in close races or
in races with a small number of vote counts). So it is not surprising
that I've also heard that Holt is only considering a flat rate audit.

> I oppose the tiered approach to audit design because it fails to
> provide the available confidence level for reasons that have no
> merit.

Obviously one can have any desired minimum probability for sucess with
a tiered audit as desired, down to a selected minimum margin between

> The tiered approach is by no means a simpler method than we have been
> proposing. It is a less stringent, less reliable method

Can we please stick with the facts Jerry. It is like fitting a series
of rectangles to the audit curve - put the rectangles anywhere you
like. Of course the more rectangles, the better fit is possible, which
is why a 4-tier audit works better than a 3-tier audit.

> But in the case of audit design (an analogous, but different
> situation since we're not integrating under a curve), a three tiered
> approach guarantees only confidence levels ranging from 51% to 72%,

If you play around with the spreadsheet I made available, you can
achieve any minimum probability you desire - of course. I only did a
minimum with above 50% probability because I was led to believe that
Holt would be open to such a plan. However, afterwards I was led to
believe that he is not open to anything but a fixed flat audit
percentage and that Holt's goal for audits is not to ensure the
integrity of outcomes, but is only to ensure that perhaps (don't quote
me on this) that 95% of votes are counted accurately, which would mean
that races with margins of less than 10% are not to be worried about.

> By rejecting this tiered approach with a single voice I believe we
> will buy ourselves an opportunity to return to the battlefield much

Or we could be saying "It's open season to rig the 2008 elections" and
risk not getting another chance to fix federal elections nationwide.

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Received on Tue Jan 1 14:12:48 2008

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