From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>

Date: Sun Jul 16 2006 - 06:43:58 CDT

Date: Sun Jul 16 2006 - 06:43:58 CDT

Progress occurred in "best practices for vote count audit procedures"

after reading the parallel testing appendix on pp. 124-126 of the

Brennan Center Report yesterday.

See http://brennancenter.org

----------------------------------------------------------------

( I also glanced at the Brennan Center appendix on vote count audits

and noticed that the Brennan Center Task Force recommends using the

same math formula to determine number of election counts to audit that

NEDA has been recommending for over a year - which is perfect.)

I discovered the following better Idea for vote count audits thanks,

in part, to the Brennan Center's "parallel testing..." appendix ideas

and thanks, in part, to earlier discussions which took place on the

Open Voting Consortium email list.

---------------------------------------

PROCEDURE FOR DECIDING HOW MANY VOTE COUNTS TO AUDIT

The safest approach to performing vote count audits will be to

calculate the minimum percentage of precinct or machine counts that

would need to be corrupted to alter the outcome of any race in an

election, after learning the margin between candidates in any county

or township. In other words, the exact number of precincts to audit

can only be safely calculated when the election margins are known.

It is important to conduct audits even if the election margins are not

close and even if candidates do not request an audit or recount. This

method will eliminate the need of counties/townships/parishes from

conducting a 100% recount in the case of close election margins, but

will mean that exactly the correct amount of vote counts are selected

for auditing to detect any possible outcome-altering vote miscounts

with a desired probability.

100% of the voter-verifiable paper records of a sufficient number of

randomly selected electronic counts to give a high probability of

detecting at least one corrupt precinct, given the minimum level of

outcome-altering miscount exists, would be hand-counted.

This method does not apply to central count optical-scan voting

systems that are unable to break vote counts into precinct-level

counts. In that case, a statistical sampling of ballots must be

compared with Election Day counts.

Whenever precinct or machine vote totals are available, an actual,

rather than a statistical, audit should be performed.

The National Election Data Archive is releasing today a free

spreadsheet "AuditCalculator.xls" with some of these calculations in

it, See http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/

Caveat, I have not yet begun to derive the single formula to make the

process easier for election officials and activists, than playing

around with a spreadsheet will be. If someone else gets to this

mathematical job before I do, please share your results and write them

up with NEDA.

NEDA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, "really" could use funding to much more

quickly complete a joint research paper with both mathematicians and

computer scientists to finish determining and writing best practices

for vote count audit procedures; and needs about $2,000/month to hire

a committed programmer.

Please support NEDA's efforts by making a donation at

http://electionarchive.org.

I would like to compile all the excellent vote count audit methodology

that has been recently developed by various groups, including NEDA,

into one paper including ideas from NEDA's earlier papers, NEDA's

recently discovered and as yet unpublished discoveries, the Brennan

report's audit ideas, and those from other sources. However, I've got

a mountain of paperwork to finish, must prepare and give talks at

several upcoming conferences and conventions, and must mail

introductory funding request letters first. NEDA needs funding for,

or a volunteer to act as, a NEDA executive assistant, ASAP. A

part-time executive assistant could be found for $1,000/month. If

every person who receives this email would donate $10/month, it would

be enough to hire the desparately needed programmer and executive

assistant. Patriotic persons are willing to work for very little to

fight for American democracy, but we need funds.

In the meantime, this spreadsheet calculator will help activists and

election officials determine how many vote counts to audit. To use

the spreadsheet, just change the inputs at the top of the "#precincts"

worksheet (including the number of total machine/precinct counts in

your county/township/parish) until you obtain the probability you

want.

http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/ in the

updated "AuditCalculator.xls" spreadsheet.

You can determine the number of vote counts (machine or precinct) to

audit in your own county to ensure with high probability, detecting

any out-come altering vote miscounts.

The third worksheet in the spreadsheet, "#precincts", is the one that

uses the new concept, based on the assumption that at most 30% of

votes would be likely to be switched from one candidate to another on

any one voting machine (a reasonable assumption by the Brennan Center

task force), and then calculating the minimum number of vote counts

that would need to be corrupt to alter the outcome of an election in a

race with a particular margin; and then using that minimum number of

corrupt counts and a desired probability to determine the number of

precincts/machines to audit.

The math derivations to make it into one simple formula for election

officials to quickly calculate how many precincts/machines to audit

can be figured out in the future - in a day or a week of

collaboration.

This calculation will give a high confidence level that any miscount

that could alter an election is detected in an audit.

Feel free to pass this spreadsheet's URL along to other statisticians

or mathematicians who are interested in vote count audit procedures.

Note: The papers in the directory

http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/ are outdated

now, but the worksheet "#precincts" in the updated

"AuditCalculator.xls" spreadsheet can be used (by playing with the

inputs at the top) until I, or someone else, derives the exact formula

to determine the exact number of precincts to audit to obtain a

desired probability for detecting any outcome-altering vote miscounts

in any election.

Best Regards and a heartfelt "Thank You" to all of NEDA's Supporters.

Your support is much needed and much appreciated and almost (but not

quite) covered the costs of my trip this prior week to the National

Association of Election Director's Conference in Santa Fe, NM where I

was able to raise important questions and learn new information.

Thank you for all your efforts. We all share the goal of accurate vote counts.

---- Kathy Dopp http://electionarchive.org National Election Data Archive Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections Subscribe to announcements by emailing election-subscribe@uscountvotes.org Please donate or volunteer at http://electionarchive.org "Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1816 ----------- P.S. NEDA's compendium of attempts to dismiss vote fraud was updated yesterday. http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/IncorrectElectionDataAnalysis-06.pdf P.P.S I hope to find time to write a report of my impressions of what occurred at the NASS/NASED July, 2006 conference of state election officials and the US Election Assistance Commissioners. NEDA very much needs a volunteer in Park City, UT or funds to hire a part-time executive assistant so to catch up with some of the work in time for the upcoming November election. _______________________________________________ OVC-discuss mailing list OVC-discuss@listman.sonic.net http://lists.sonic.net/mailman/listinfo/ovc-discuss ================================================================== = The content of this message, with the exception of any external = quotations under fair use, are released to the Public Domain ==================================================================Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:05 2006

*
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8
: Mon Jul 31 2006 - 23:17:09 CDT
*