Here comes another fraudulent OH election

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Wed Nov 01 2006 - 21:20:52 CST

I have been consulting today with an Ohio university's CS people who
have been tasked by the elections administration of Cuyahoga County,
OH, to "design an audit for the county".

They have Dopp and Stenger's recent paper and wanted to know if I'd
recommend their method of computing the sample size or Rivest's
method. (I recommended Rivest because it is simpler.)

Obviously they are being used to add gravitas to a fraud the
elections administration (EA) is planning to perpetrate. Here is what
the process is going to be:

1. At close of polls the (EA) will combine the precinct vote counts
using GEMS at election central HQ.
2. The results will be furnished to the university team.
3. The university will choose three races from the list of races that
appeared on every ballot in the county. (They say they plan to choose
the closest races.)
4. They will be given the incremental vote counts from the precincts
as reported by them.
5. They will also be given the incremental vote counts that GEMS
summed to get the final outcomes on a race by race, precinct by
precinct basis.
6. They will use the method Lobdill and Stanislevic recommend to
calculate the sample size.
7. They had some advice from a statistics prof to the effect that
they should choose different samples for each of the three races. I
recommended against that. Choose one sample on the basis of the
margin and vote count distributions of the closest race. It will be
right for the closest race and overkill on the other two.
8. Then, they said, they would compare the precinct reported vote
counts with the GEMS reported vote counts for these precincts. (!!!!)

I asked why they weren't going to recount the VVPATs for the sample
precincts, and they said they wouldn't be allowed to do that because:

By the way, all the precincts can't be counted since the hardcopy
long reports that are a summarized version of the ballots include
every race in the county by DRE and precinct. This is a very long
report to go through and each DRE will have several precincts. There
can be up to 40 DREs to just extract 1 precinct though usually there
will be more than 1 precinct extracted from that same set of DREs.

I explained that the practical reason they were sampling and doing a
partial recount was because of the reluctance to do a full recount
because of time costs. And that the only way they could get a valid
audit was by doing that. I said that since they would be getting all
the data they were going to ever process on a single spreadsheet
there is no need to sample at all. Simply compare GEMS values with
precinct reports of vote counts on the spreadsheet. The time it will
take is milliseconds. There is absolutely no need to sample if that
is going to be the test.

I have not heard back from them on this yet.

The fact is that they are being used, and their involvement is as
part of a fraud, because this exercise will be reported to the public
as an audit, and any question of validity will be deflected by a
response that they had the very best advice they could get from the
university CS experts.

Jerry Lobdill

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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:03 2006

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