Tiered Election Audits Paper

This four-tier election audit proposal is much more effective (higher probabilities) and efficient (fewer vote counts to audit when candidate margins are between 0.5% to 5%) than the 3-tier election audit proposal I sent you earlier.

I hope that the folks at the NYU Brennan Justice Center, whose Larry Norden first originated the idea of tiered audits, and others, will urge Holt to adopt something similar as part of his bill because this is a compromise that makes calculating audit amounts that would ensure election outcome integrity as easy as it could possibly be for election officials and auditors.

See the short word doc (perhaps soon a pdf) and play with the spreadsheet to see if you can find a better 4-tier audit plan. (You would need to adjust row 7 formulas.)


This is a great compromise proposal between last session's Holt audit proposal of a flat insufficient 2% and audits designed with a fixed high probability of detecting vote miscount.

The probabilities for detecting vote miscount that could alter an election are likely to be, in practice, higher than those calculated
(see chart #2 on page 2) because my calculations assume that vote miscount could always be targeted to the fewest number of vote counts necessary to swing an election outcome.

This would be a HUGE step forward towards ensuring election outcome integrity from where we are today, and would substantially ensure that correctly elected candidates were sworn into office if done correctly in an independent, verifiable, transparent way as advised in our earlier recommendations: http://electionarchive.org/ucvInfo/US/EI-FederalLegislationProposal.pdf

I hope that all the election integrity activists will support this HUGE increase in the number of vote counts that are 100% hand counted, over the hopelessly insufficient practices in place today.

Isn't it time that scientfic measures were adopted to ensure the integrity of US election outcomes? The well-being of our entire world depends on the integrity of U.S. elections.

We are down to the wire now with Holt's office about to publicly release their new election audit proposal this week! Please call, email, and fax Holt's office, your own representative's office, and any key players in the U.S. House now to ensure that we get a tiered election audit that would ensure the integrity of U.S. election outcomes rather than a fixed insufficient small audit rate.

Here is a link to find all US House representatives:


Thank you for your time and effort.

Kathy Dopp
National Election Data Archive
Dedicated to Accurately Counting Elections

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1816


Please use this updated PDF "Tiered Election Paper"

In response to some helpful comments by election integrity activists and after multiple readings, I have made a few important little corrections, updates, and additions to the "Tiered Election Audit" paper, including citing a paper by Cordero, Wagner, and Dill giving two methods of transparently selecting random vote counts.

Please use this newest version if you mail, fax, or email copies to decision-makers:


Thank you very much for all your efforts.


Kathy Dopp


Here is a newly revised "Tiered Election Audits" paper for the lay person.


Please Act Now to Protect U.S. Democracy and Ensure Election Outcome Integrity

If the goal of elections is to ensure the will of the voters, then the goal of election audits is to ensure that voters determine who represents them. It seems simple. However, the US Congress may be planning election audits that are not designed to ensure that voters always determine election outcomes!

According to analysis by Kathy Dopp, President of National Election Data Archive,

"If Congress specifies a fixed rate manual election audit of 2%, with a minimum audit of 6 vote counts, that would give only a 56% chance for detecting when election outcomes are inaccurate in races with 5% margins between leading candidates; and would give under a 50% chance of detecting when election outcomes were inaccurate in races with
4.2% or less margins between candidates."

We have a choice: To achieve fair elections now, or to put it off for another election cycle and hope that we have another opportunity to achieve fair elections.

To ensure that voters' will determines election outcomes, we need election audits that are designed to achieve that goal.

People may contact their US Senators and House Representative and Representative Rush Holt D-NJ at

http://house.gov (put in your zip code) http://senate.gov

to ask them to please read the "Tiered Election Audit", newly revised for the lay person:


To ensure the future of our democracy that so many Americans previously fought and died for, it is necessary to subject elections to mathematically sufficient independent manual audits - especially close elections.

Congressman Rush Holt D-NJ may be considering the same requirement for a 2% flat rate audit that was in his former HR550. Holt's new election integrity legislation is due to be released to the House floor this week after which it could become difficult to alter its audit provisions.

A "tiered" election audit specifies audit percentages in a small table along with minimum numbers of vote counts that must be manually audited to ensure correct outcomes, according to specific margins between candidates, as seen in the initial election results. The closer a race, the more vote counts must manually counted to find a small amount of miscount that could wrongly alter the outcome.

A tiered election audit is a good compromise between audits which simply require that "large enough size samples of vote counts are manually counted to ensure 99% scientific certainty that the election outcomes are correct" but which must be calculated individually for each race; and audits which simply require that a flat rate of "2% of all vote counts are manually counted" but are insufficient to ensure the integrity of election outcomes in all cases.

A tiered audit requires that a minimum "amount" of vote counts be manually audited for any particular margin to prevent audits from being subverted by aggregating ballots into a small number of larger-size vote counts which could cause a flat percentage audit to be ineffective. These required minimums sometimes will result in 100% hand counts of 100% of vote counts whenever it is necessary to ensure election outcome integrity.

Today's utterly flawed electronic voting systems provide no means to determine who did what and when on a voting machine after an election, so any fraudster knows that he will never be caught. A flat 2% audit would announce to a vote fraudster exactly how and when fraud be most likely to succeed in rigging an election.

Dopp encourages all election officials, election integrity activists, and U.S. Senators and Representatives who are concerned about election integrity to read "Tiered Election Audits" and to implement its recommendations:


To achieve the necessary effective public oversight over manual audits of elections, audits must be independent, verifiable, transparent, scientific, and used to detect and correct any errors found in initial election results that might wrongly put a candidate into office that was not selected by voters.

http://www.house.gov/ http://senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

The possible consequences could be dire if the US Congress leaves U.S. elections wide-open to vote fraud and innocent miscount in the upcoming 2008 elections by failing to require sufficient auditing elections.

Please help us ensure the future by taking action now.

Kathy Dopp



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