Re: Kurt's and Jim's proposals for audit rules

From: Jerry Lobdill <lobdillj_at_charter_dot_net>
Date: Wed Nov 08 2006 - 13:19:01 CST

At 11:36 AM 11/7/2006, you wrote:

> writes:
>>My proposal included the provision that each
>>losing candidate would be allowed to select one
>>precinct from each county in her election
>>district for the audit. But the audit would otherwise be by random selection.
>>The first to propose this was Saltman so far as I know.
>I would propose that any losing candidate within 10% of the winner be
>allowed to pick 1% of precincts/absentee grouping.
>This would be on top of a random audit.

What scientific principle are you applying in
coming up with this proposal? Or is it an ad hoc
idea? Where did 10%, 1%, and precincts/absentee grouping come from?

First of all, it is now rather widely recognized
that specifying a certain percentage has no
redeeming qualities as a scientific prescription.
The scientific design most researchers are
talking about is one that would call for a
mandatory full ballot recount if a single corrupt
precinct is found in the random sample. The size
of the random sample is selected to provide a 99%
(or better) chance of finding at least one
corrupt precinct if the winner has won by vote
switching. In many cases this prescription will
involve a fairly large number of precincts to
recount. When you add another 1% on top of that
without saying how that improves the probability
of detecting fraud, you will be called to explain
exactly what the improvement is. And why the 10%?

To give losers an opportunity to pick one
precinct in an audit where the rule is that a
single corrupt precinct will cause a full recount
is rather a powerful and fair provision is it
not? And it is easily defended on the basis that
the candidates know best where their opponents
may try to pad their results. This provision does
not create a major new load on auditors and it
does wonders for public perception of fairness.

>Precedence: list
>MIME-Version: 1.0
>Cc: Kurt Hyde <>
>To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list <>,
>Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2006 17:36:37 +0000
>Reply-To: Open Voting Consortium discussion list
> <>
>Content-Type: multipart/mixed;
> boundary="NextPart_Webmail_9m3u9jl4l_13083_1162920997_0"
>Subject: Re: [OVC-discuss] Fwd: Question re. audits in Wisconsin
>Message: 4
>Here's what I have in my Targeted Audit Recount
>(TAR) for the candidate for office
>contests. The ballot question contests have similar rules:
>Candidate For Office Contests:
>Number of Precincts to be audited based on Contest Size:
>Large State-wide
>contests 10 precincts
>Medium Congressional or State Senate
>size 5 precincts per contest
>Small State Representative, County-Wide,
>and Municipal 5 Precincts/County
>Precinct Allocations:
> * 20% Winning candidate
> * 20% Allocated to all the losing
> candidate(s) with less than 10% of the vote count.
> * Chosen via pro-rata, consensus, or random
> selection process, such as drawing lots in the
> presence of the candidates, of those precincts
> nominated by members of this group.
> * Remaining precincts to losing candidates with 10% or more of the vote.
> * Chosen via pro-rata, consensus, or random
> selection process of those precincts nominated
> by members of this group. In most elections, this will be one candidate.
>If evidence of fraud is found, that particular
>allocation gets an addition allocation 5 times
>greater. I have the initial allocations small
>in order that the people doing the recounts are
>attentive. I believe exhaustive random audits
>are too tedious. That kind of boredom dulls the people's senses.
>Also, it has time limits in order to be sure it
>is done within a few weeks after the election.

Kurt, I have similar questions for you. I'll bet
you don't have any idea what the probability of
finding a corrupt precinct is with your scheme.
It is definitely not constant and cannot be
estimated because it depends on the margin and
number of precincts involved--a different situation in each election/race..

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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:07 2006

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