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

Marian Beddill beddill at nas.com
Mon Aug 1 18:34:35 IST 2005


Most US elections (each state has it's own laws) have a percentage level 
(or two) below which some kind of recount of the already-cast ballots must 
take place. In my own jurisdiction, for example, the first limit requires 
that a machine recount be done - and a tighter limit requires a hand recount.

In our recent Governor's election, the third process took place - certain 
qualified individuals/organizations (usually the political parties) may ask 
for a "review" of the counting - and the details vary widely, which is why 
I call it a "review" not a recount.

And all this is different (in rules, if not in mechanics) from an "audit", 
which we election integrity watchers are now strongly advocating. Allowing 
the count to be done by machine (whether ballots are paper or DRE) but 
always accompanying that with a parallel hand count of at least a 
substantial random sample of the ballots.

Marian Beddill

At 8/1/2005  04:49 AM, you wrote:

>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 :-)
>







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