February 27, 2009

We Already Have Excellent Statistical Tools For Auditing Elections

THE RECENT American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting included a session entitled "Science for Public Confidence in Election Fairness and Accuracy" and, as might be expected, computer science made a significant appearance. Ed Felten of Princeton, whose work in the area we've covered extensively, spoke and emphasized the limits of what computer science can do, and how the ultimate goal should be to ensure that electronic voting systems are verifiable and auditable. Of course, that raises the question of what you do with the auditing information, which is where Arlene Ash, a biostatistician at Boston University's School of Medicine, came in. It turns out that we already have excellent statistical tools for detecting problematic patterns of voting—the legal system just chooses to ignore them

Read More >

The American Statistical Association's post election audit resources are here >

Arlene Ash's statistical analysis of voting in a specific Congressional district is here >

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Indeed. There was an even chance that a full recount would have changed the outcome of the June 2008 Pacifica School District parcel tax measure, but a recount was not performed.

See my comment at: http://insideelections.shapethefuture.org/2008/07/09/what-happens-with-the-manual-tally/