[E-voting] Margin of error - was RE: "Black box" irregularities in the ...

Craig Burton craig at e1c.net
Mon Aug 1 12:49:07 IST 2005


VoteHere refer to recounts in CA to achieve a margin of error of +-2.5% 
occurring out of sampling as per "California’s 1% automatic precinct 
hand-recount."
http://www.votehere.net/papers/NIST_121003.pdf

If this test finds different outcomes per county I'm not sure offhand 
whether there is then a larger recount, a re-run or a coin toss. 
Florida's was decided by the courts at one stage I recall :-)


Fergal Daly wrote:

>Parliamentary votes should not and generally do not have a margin of
>error. They involve about 150-600 highly motivated voters in a
>non-secret vote and when it's going to be tight the vote is usually
>incredibly closely watched. In this US case it seems that party lines
>were not being held so there was no expected result, if it had been
>Ireland or the UK, if the govt lost a vote it has much bigger
>ramifications - elections etc, so tight votes never have errors.
>
>As for larger secret votes, there may be errors but I still don't know
>of any election/public vote where this margin is taken into account
>and there's a rerun if the result is within this margin. It's imply
>not practical. What is the country really divided 50.00001/49.99999 on
>an issue that must be decided, how many reruns do you have before
>giving up and announcing a result?
>
>F
>
>On 8/1/05, Craig Burton <craig at e1c.net> wrote:
>  
>
>> Just about all elections have a margin of error.
>> Whether or not it is estimated at the time of the election or is set in the
>>local law varies.
>> It is not well defined on wikipedia and I haven't had time to dig it off
>>the gov.au site but there's a nice intro to it here as it became relevant in
>>Florida in 00.
>> http://www.kband.com/corporate/election.html
>> 
>> -------- Original Message -------- 
>> Subject: Re: [Fwd: Re: [E-voting] "Black box" irregularities in the House
>>of Representatives?] 
>> Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 10:33:13 +0100 
>> From: Fergal Daly <fergald at gmail.com> 
>> Reply-To: fergal at esatclear.ie 
>> To: Craig Burton <caburt at alphalink.com.au> 
>> CC: e-voting at lists.stdlib.net 
>> References: <42ED7FB8.3020605 at alphalink.com.au> 
>> 
>> First off, the original story was not an election it was a vote in the
>>House of Representatives so running it again would probably have
>>produced the same answer (assuming votes are counted correctly) but
>>apart form that I know of no system that works like you suggest.
>>There's usually some tie-breaker, for example a person who only votes
>>in the case of a tie. In the Irish parliament, that's the Ceann
>>Comhairle in the UK I think it's the Speaker of the House and they're
>>both expected to vote with the goverment. Elections in Ireland have
>>frequently been won by a handful of votes or even just 1 vote. I have
>>a feeling the returning officer only votes if there's a tie but I'm
>>not sure.
>>
>>I don't think you'll find a single public political system where
>>something can't win by just a single vote,
>>
>>F
>>
>>On 8/1/05, Craig Burton <caburt at alphalink.com.au> wrote:
>>    
>>
>>>I would have thought any important election would require a winning margin
>>>of error of, say, 1%. If the tally falls within this, its a draw. Do some
>>>more politicing and run it again. 
>>>It's a procedural issue, right?
>>>
>>>-------- Original Message -------- 
>>>Subject: Re: [E-voting] "Black box" irregularities in the House of
>>>Representatives? 
>>>Date: Mon, 1 Aug 2005 02:24:37 +0100 
>>>From: Fergal Daly <fergald at gmail.com> 
>>>Reply-To: fergal at esatclear.ie 
>>>To: tim at birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie 
>>>CC: e-voting at lists.stdlib.net 
>>>References: <42ECF8B0.5070600 at eircom.net>
>>><200507312211.51498.tim at birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie> 
>>>
>>>
>>>On 7/31/05, Timothy Murphy <tim at birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie> wrote:
>>>      
>>>
>>>>On Sun 31 Jul 2005 17:13, Catherine Ansbro wrote:
>>>>        
>>>>
>>>>>A major US int'l trade agreement just passed by 1 vote (CAFTA). And
>>>>>guess what. One guy claims his vote was not recorded correctly. Even
>>>>>though he objected at the time, the law has still passed.
>>>>>          
>>>>>
>>>>I realise this is not a very popular view on this list,
>>>>but if an issue is that closely balanced,
>>>>I don't think it matters too much if it goes the wrong way.
>>>>        
>>>>
>>>215 vs 217
>>>
>>>Kerry vs Bush was 50.7 vs 48.2. another closely balanced issue that
>>>didn't much matter?
>>>
>>>F
>>>
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>>
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>>

-- 
Craig A Burton                    Independent Online Elections
Director                          Australian, USA and UK management
Everyone Counts PL                UK ODPM Framework Supplier
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