NASS Report, New Handouts, Ohio Paper Records Deadline

The BEST NEWS from the Santa Fe, NM July 2006 NASS conference, were the remarks by Governor Bill Richardson given at a luncheon. Richardson recommended voter verifiable optical scan paper ballots and audits. In fact NM SOS Rebecca Vigil-Giron plans to conduct an independent audit of NM vote counts by hiring an outside accounting firm to conduct the audit. New Mexico is leading the nation in election integrity issues and has entirely dumped its DRE voting systems after The National Election Data Archive (NEDA) and VotersUnite showed how statistically suspicious the patterns of NM's 2004 electronic vote counts were.

New Mexico and Washington State were the only two states where detailed November 2004 vote count data was obtained and analyzed, and both states have since then significantly reduced or elimated the use of DRE voting machines and improved their election systems due to the statistical analysis of detailed data revealing likely vote tampering.

This experience in New Mexico and Washington proves that NEDA's plan to create a public national election data archive for the detailed unaggregated election results data will successfully help to improve voting systems. Please help us complete it by making an urgently needed donations at http://electionarchive.org.

Thank you so much to those who have donated to US Count Votes in the past who have enabled us to accomplish what we have, although we have yet to receive enough donations to hire a full-time staffer.

Some additional good reporting of the NASS conference is available by Warren Stewart on http://VoteTrustUSA.org

Unfortunately the U.S. EAC seems to be putting most of its 'election integrity' eggs in the basket of improving voting machine testing, although any computer engineer knows that no amount of ITA or L&A testing of machines would ensure election integrity:

"Program testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show their absence."

- E.W. Dijkstra, 1970 from http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/EWD/ewd02xx/EWD249.PDF

And of the 15 member U.S. Election Assistance Commission Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) only about 2 to 4 seem to have credentials that make them competent to evaluate computerized voting system standards such as degrees in computer science or engineering. The National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) have used their opportunity to appoint two TGDC members to appoint the same Paul Craft and Britt Williams whose degrees are in hotel management, accounting, and political science, but who have decades of experience rubberstamping flawed voting systems, and who seem to have no problem with secretly counting, faith-based, paperless electronic voting systems.

http://eac.gov/tgdc.asp

I raised a big stink at the NASS conference by publicly asking if the U.S. EAC plans to hire or appoint qualified people with degrees in computer science and engineering to its TGDC.

Thank you to those who donated to make it possible for me to attend and for NEDA to accomplish what we have so far. The donations did not fully cover my travel and lodging so I drove and camped at nearby Hyde Memorial NM state park which was only 7 miles away and beautiful.

Please, if you are working and have income, we need you to donate $10/month to support the work of those of us at NEDA, like Ron Baiman and myself, who have dedicated ourselves to doing volunteer work on elections, and sacrificed our income to do it. We cannot be ready for the upcoming November election without more financial support. Please donate just $10/month, or give a one-time $50 donation. You can donate using a credit card or PayPal at http://ElectionArchive.org, or mail a check to: US Count Votes, P.O.Box 682556, Park City, UT 84068

We need both your financial and volunteer help. A competent volunteer is needed to work for NEDA in Park City, Utah, living space available. Thank you.

Ron Baiman, NEDA's Vice President, says that donations are needed immediately in order to obtain Ohio's ballot and voting records before they are due to be thrown out on September 3rd. Ron Baiman's recent investigative work in Ohio is uncovering evidence of paper optical scan ballot manipulation and counts that don't add up in the Ohio counties that showed the strange voting patterns in relation to another candidate. These records need to be preserved and investigated, but donations are needed to pay for the labor so that Ron and others can devote all of August to finding organizations like Ohio universities to accept responsibility for publicly maintaining the paper records of the 2004 election before they are destroyed.

Donations would facilitate quick completion of our new joint scientific vote count audit paper that NEDA members are working on with the Open Voting Consortium members to explain how to calculate vote count audit percentages that would detect any outcome-altering vote miscount in any election to any desired probability, given the margins between candidates. Your financial support would reduce the time this project takes to complete. Over a year ago, NEDA led the way by recommending vote count audits, and following our lead, the Carter-Baker commission, the US Government Accountability Office, US League of Women Voters, Verified Voting, the Brennan Center, and project ACCURATE now are all recommending routine vote count audits. Now that everyone agrees with NEDA that audits are needed, this is the time to create the best vote count audit standards that will truly ensure accurate outcomes.

NEDA's new vote count audit "election integrity" equation will virtually ensure that election outcomes are correct, as well as scientifically prove that fixed 1 or 2% audits are insufficient for ensuring correct election outcomes in cases with close candidate margins, especially in small or medium-sized jurisdictions. This is the way to achieve the goal that everyone agrees on: "correct election outcomes that result in the properly elected candidates being sworn into office"

NEDA thus has derived two new equations since November 2004 that will help to ensure accurate election results:

1. NEDA's "exit poll discrepancy" equation will allow mathematicians or statisticians to test patterns of exit poll discrepancy data to evaluate whether the discrepancy patterns are more consistent with vote miscount or with partisan response bias. No more long-winded academic debates over exit poll data. However, this method requires publicly available exit poll data, and funding would have to be raised to conduct public exit polls.

and

2. NEDA's "election integrity" vote count audit equation will scientifically ensure that the right candidates are sworn into office, and who wouldn't agree with that? Certainly the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will adopt this audit percentage equation as the new standard for auditing vote count accuracy.

Because these new methods for ensuring election integrity will not be implemented in time for the upcoming November 2006 race, NEDA urgently needs funding now to complete legal and technical projects necessary to obtain and analyze the detailed vote count data that can be used, as it was in Washington and New Mexico, to uncover probable vote miscounts and spur the adoption of better voting systems.

Here are the handouts I created for NASS conference attendees:

How Election Officials Could Ensure Accurate Vote Counts http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/election_officials/Audits_Monitoring.pdf

Brennan Center Report - one page summary http://electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/BrennanCenter-VotingSystems.pdf

US League of Women Voters' New Official Position on U.S. Voting Systems http://electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/LWVUS-Resolution2006.pdf

There are Virtually NO Federal Voting System Guidelines http://electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/NoFederalStandards.pdf

I hope these will be useful for your own local city, county, and state officials.

Thank you.

Kathy Dopp
http://electionarchive.org
National Election Data Archive US Count Votes,
P.O. Box 682556,
Park City, UT 84068
Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections

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