How is this "Concede/Contest" Decision Algorithm?

From: Kathy Dopp <kathy_dot_dopp_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Sun Oct 22 2006 - 06:37:07 CDT

OK. I got no feedback on my general concede/contest decision algorithm for
candidates, so I throw this particular decision algorithm (below) out for

Please help finesse my wording, presentation, as this needs to go out
publicly asap. (It is crucial to our civilization IMO, to ensure that only
correctly elected candidates are sworn into office after November's imminent

We need a brief paper on how to decide whether or not to concede an election
ASAP. Doing this paper professionally would be much more effective than if
I spit it out in a hurry by myself. I have personal things I must work on
and I've been sick for 4 days this week where all I could do was stay in
bed. I need help if this is going to get done in a professional way (and I
don't mean from someone who will make more work for me and steal my
unrecoverable precious time trying to bully me into believing incorrect
ideas, and, when he can't, wrongly mischaracterizing my work for the purpose
of pretending that he did work that I and my colleague did).

Please someone reputable on this list, help me with this, or take it over,
and credit me appropriately for starting and contributing to it, and post a
paper for me to link to.

I will ask the mathematicians/statisticians to double-check this decision
algorithm, but computer scientists will be able to really produce this
decision algorithm for candidates in a professional way.


(4 step ordered Algorithm for deciding when to concede/contest an election)

1. If an independent transparent manual audit or a manual recount of voter
verified paper ballot records is

available: (usually not)

-- If "yes", given the margin between candidates and the number of machine
or precinct vote counts in your

race, use this program to
calculate if sufficient vote counts

have been audited to detect at least one miscounted count to 99%
probability. If "yes" and no miscounted

count has been found, concede. If "yes" and miscounts were discovered in a
transparently, verifiably

conducted audit or partial recount, consult with a mathematician or
statistician to determine if further

manual counts are needed, and continue to step 2. If insufficient vote
counts were manually audited,

continue to step 2.

-- If "no", continue to step 2.

2. If trusted public exit poll data is publicly available: (usually not)

-- If "yes", if the exit poll predicted you won or did not predict a clear
winner (predictions were within margin

of error), but election results showed you lost, contest. If exit polls and
election results both clearly showed

you lost, concede.

-- If "no", continue to step 3.

3. If trusted pre-election poll data available: (often in federal races and
some state races)

-- If "yes", if the polls show you won or did not predict a clear winner
(predictions were within margin of

error), but election results show you lost, contest. If the polls and
election results both clearly (beyond margin of error) showed you losing,
concede. The contestants may want to supoena the raw data, methodology, etc
for the poll.

-- If "no", continue to step 4.

4. If there is no trusted public exit poll data, no trusted pre-election
poll data, and insufficient audits for your

race, does the candidate's election results seem suspicious or expected in
relation to circumstances? (this step is validly open to interpretation)

-- If not suspicious, contest

-- If expected, concede

If the margin between winning and losing candidates is less than 10%, expect
to spend a LONG time

doing tedious time-consuming election forensic analysis and possibly demand
a re-election if results

cannot be reasonably shown to be accurate, especially if significant
suspicious patterns are found in the data, or discrepancies between paper
and electronic records are found in voting systems.

---------- END -------------

I would really like input on this algorithm and my wording for deciding when
candidates should concede elections, especially in step #4 which is so
ill-defined and likely to occur thanks to steps #1 and #2 being unavailable
in most of our fundamentally flawed election & voting systems.

Thank you. Candidates would be MUCH more likely to help us restore
democratic elections in America if we put out a scientific, rational,
reasonable paper explaining how the public can competently and reasonably
make a decision as to whether we should have any basis in confidence in
particular election outcomes.

Kathy Dopp
National Election Data Archive
Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections
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Received on Tue Oct 31 23:17:05 2006

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