Fwd: OVC-discuss Digest, Vol 21, Issue 21

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Fri Jul 21 2006 - 08:40:45 CDT

Hi Kathy,

I'm working on your suggested task (below).

Your original equation is correct, and if we have to live with
something other than a closed form solution, so be it. We can comfort
ourselves in that event with the knowledge that even if we had a
linear system of simultaneous equations instead of a polynomial
equation of Cth degree, election officials would still not be able to
understand the math. :-)


>Message: 1
>Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2006 01:12:49 -0600
>From: "Kathy Dopp" <kathy.dopp@gmail.com>
>Subject: [OVC-discuss] Our "Election Integrity" equation solution is
> an approximation
>To: uscv_stats@uscountvotes.org, "Open Voting Consortium discussion
> list" <ovc-discuss@listman.sonic.net>
> <391f105b0607200012xe9b9fc3v2b3682233710812f@mail.gmail.com>
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
>NEDA may or may "not" be able to derive a better formulaic
>approximation of the probability formula (We are using the same
>original equation that we derived over a year ago to calculate audit
>percentages that has been extensively peer-reviewed but are trying to
>solve it for one of the variables). Frank and I are still working on
>it, but a one-step exact solution is not looking hopeful. The election
>integrity equation to solve has several factorials of the variable to
>be solved for in it and it is thus difficult (or impossible?) to solve
>The good news is that as precise as desired answer to the number of
>vote counts to audit in order to have a desired degree of probability
>of detecting outcome-altering vote miscount can be determined with a
>computer program or by trial and error using a spreadsheet.
>The new equation that I set up last week is only trivially different
>than our extensively peer-reviewed and agreed to original probability
>equation of over a year ago. I have merely introduced a small new
>calculation to make the audit percentage detect outcome-altering vote
> The method Frank tried for solving the equation depends for its
>precision, on the size of the number of total vote counts being a
>large number, which is not true in many counties. I had given Frank
>the formula to solve without sufficiently informing him of its
>real-life constraints.
>The great news is that a computer program to solve the "election
>integrity" vote count audit equation will be a simple one - by working
>backwards until the correct probability is obtained - almost like a
>simple search algoritm that can be quickly narrowed down, with an
>approximation function to specify exactly where to begin the search,
>and a probability to check the accuracy of the results.
>Having a computer program to solve the problem, rather than a simple
>formula may make it more difficult to get it adopted as the standard -
>but it is easily-explainable to anyone who knows any college-level
>probability, and so the scientists of NIST, who set such standards,
>will easily understand it.
>I have updated NEDA's audit paper with an explanation and table in its
>appendix, and the excell spreadsheet will explain it to most people.
>http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/ and get
>If anyone wants to take on the project of creating a program to
>calculate the correct audit percentage for detecting outcome-altering
>vote miscount, or fixing up the spreadsheet that now lets people
>calculate it by trial and error, that would be terrific. I'm buried
>without enough funding to hire any help.
>Kathy Dopp
>National Election Data Archive
>Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections
>Subscribe to announcements by emailing election-subscribe@uscountvotes.org
>Please donate or volunteer.
>"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

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Received on Mon Jul 31 23:17:06 2006

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