Re: [ElectionIntegrity] Re: Conference call on federal legislation?

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sat Nov 18 2006 - 17:23:17 CST

On 11/18/06, Paul Lehto <> wrote:
> Paper trail and audit formulations deny democracy in a simple two step
> process: (1) Eliminate public supervision of elections via invisible
> computerization and trade secrecy claims (2) Substitute some kind of
> technical audit as a substitute that, even if it works, ends up being
> technical gobbledygook that the other side will just find an expert to rebut
> and disagree with (from the vendor or elsewhere) and the issue will barely
> see the light of the day in the media since citizens can't tell which set of
> experts is telling the truth.

Paul, you are correct if you are talking in (2) about ballot sampling
procedures, rathere than true verifiable, transparent, manual, publicly
observable audits.

Unfortunately some election integrity groups, for some reason I cannot
fathom, are proposing ballot sampling procedures rather than actual
sufficient manual audits.

Here is one of those impractical, nontransparent, insufficient statistical
ballot sampling proposals that you refer to Paul:

The developers of the above proposals write the concepts very well, but have
not yet studied recent work in how to calculate the minimum manual audit
amounts that must be used to detect vote miscount sufficient to alter
election outcomes, and how to do real audits. In the above case, the
statistical procedures are not only obtuse to the general public, as you
point out, but the audit amounts they propose are not tied to the amount of
vote miscount that could wrongly alter an election outcome and so their
audit sample sizes are insufficient to ensure election outcome accuracy.

On the other hand, sufficient real publicly observable, transparent,
publicly verifiable manual counts of 100% of the ballots associated with
sufficient electronic vote counts to detect any amount of miscount that
could wrongly alter an election without question need to be performed.

This is why the issue of public supervision is non-negotiable: any
> substitute or partial supervision is the same as no supervision at all since
> the fraud or error can simply move to where it will not be supervised. It
> always prefers secrecy.

Agreed, and Barbara agrees with you too. We are in the process of getting
from where we are now, to where we all want to be, by as many productive
approaches as possible.

> Every single time someone denies We the People the 92% Zogby
> poll-supported "right to *observe* our vote counting and obtain
> information on it," we should ask the question again
> *To win, the election integrity movement only needs to do one thing, and
> do it repeatedly and well: Continually argue for full democratic supervision
> of elections by the people, and conversely denounce secrecy and
> non-transparency. *

Yes We agree Paul, and Barbara has worked for that for years now. She did
not give you half her resume and accomplishments on that score in her email.

We are very lucky to have Barbara who has made friends both with Holt's
office and Common Cause and who can hopefully put the brakes on both groups
passing HR550 until it is improved to ensure verifiably transparently
accurate election outcomes with sufficient manual counts of voter verifiable
paper ballot records; and

hopefully, with the federal funding for the new requirement for VVPBs only
going to open source voting systems that are fully manually independently
auditable (DREs with paper rolls are "not" fully auditable because vote
fraud can be committed on them in a way that subverts manual audits since
even when voters check the paper rolls, they often miss errors or missing
races on the ballot summaries.)



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Received on Thu Nov 30 23:17:09 2006

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