The software utility, eVote and the eVote clerk, injects true democracy and deliberation into our real-world landscape.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Election Integrity Audit

CONTACT: Kathy Dopp (435) 658-4657
ORGANIZATION: The National Election Data Archive

The National Election Data Archive's Kathy Dopp and Frank Stenger developed a method for calculating election audit sizes that would detect any electronic miscount that could alter an election outcome, for all auditable voting systems, particularly when voters verify that their paper ballot records are correct.

Salt Lake City, Utah 9/25/06 - The elections industry is the only major industry not routinely subjected to independent manual audits. In any field, electronic mistakes or tampering would go undetected in the absence of audits. Banks, churches and businesses are subjected to routine independent audits to detect and prevent errors and embezzlement.

Virtually all U.S. votes will be counted electronically by 2008. Electronic voting systems make it possible for one person to rig a state-wide election and for electronic errors and failures to produce wrong results.

Vote counts determine who controls budgets of millions to trillions of dollars. Yet only perhaps fifteen states conduct any audits – manual checks - of vote count accuracy and their procedures are not sufficient to detect wrongfully altered outcomes in close races. In some states audit procedures are not independent; audit results are not made public; audit results are not used to correct discrepancies found between manual and electronic vote counts; or the audits are performed after election results are certified.

The lack of detailed election audits is especially alarming in light of the fact that U.S. jurisdictions publicly report vote counts aggregated in a way that hides evidence of vote count errors, machine problems, and tampering. Forensic analysis of election data - broken out by precinct and by vote type – could be used to reveal significant irregular patterns that result from partisan vote padding, under-votes, or vote-switching. However, because no jurisdictions routinely release these detailed election results, candidates would need to contest their elections; make legal open records requests to obtain the data; and have it analyzed – all prior to conceding. (See

Solution: The National Election Data Archive (NEDA)'s Kathy Dopp and Frank Stenger developed a solution for calculating vote count audit sample sizes to ensure electronic vote count integrity in all auditable voting systems, particularly when voters verify that their paper ballot records are correct. Properly calculated and conducted audits – hand counts of paper ballots performed to check the accuracy
of electronic vote counts - can be performed in jurisdictions using audit-able voting systems.

"The Election Integrity Audit" method has been supported by the work of Roy Saltman, who was instrumental in initiating the first federal engineering and procedural performance standards for voting systems and who proposed similar election audit size calculations in 1975 (See Appendix B in; and by Ron Rivest of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology whose September 2006 paper "Estimating the Size of a Statistical Audit" proposes similar election audit size estimation that can be done with a calculator (See; and by Howard Stanislevic who proposed a similar method in August 2006. (See The election audit calculation work of Dopp and Stenger is new because it provides a numerical method to directly calculate the optimal election audit size.

The closer a race, the smaller the amount of vote miscount that could alter the outcome; and the harder the miscount is to detect. Therefore, races with closer margins between winners and losers require larger audits. Election officials and candidates can use a program available on to calculate the optimal audit size to verify the accuracy of any election outcome at

The National Election Data Archive is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan organization devoted to promoting scientific means to ensure election-outcome accuracy. Its "Election Integrity Audit" paper can be found at

National Election Data Archive (NEDA)
501(c)(3) status approved Contact: Kathy Dopp 435-658-4657

The National Election Data Archive is a scientific research project whose mission is to ensure the accuracy of elections in America through development and promotion of mathematical means to ensure accurate vote counts and the creation and analysis of a database containing precinct-level election data broken out by vote type for the entire United States. NEDA is seeking funds to complete a nationwide system for mathematically monitoring election results.

This press release is available on-line in PDF if you click the headline.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

ASK Allegheny County to verify the voting software!

Given that our votes are not observable, recountable, or auditable.
Let at least have software verification and parallel testing!

Call County Council: 412 350-6491

Please Sign Up by Monday 5PM to Speak to County Council on Tuesday, September 26th!

Parallel Testing: A Proposal for Allegheny County’s November 2006 Election

Parallel testing is designed as an election day security measure to detect software glitches as well as to counter software hacks that could fraudulently record and count votes. In voting software, a Trojan Horse is a hidden program that can avoid detection in the voting software and wait until election day to become active. To be effective, a Trojan Horse program must not change votes during accuracy tests, but must only be active during an election. Such a program may discriminate elections from accuracy tests by the date, time, duration, speed of voting, rate of errors, under-votes, location of under-votes, or any other natural feature of typical voting behavior.

For parallel testing to be valid and effective, it must be presented to the voting machine in a manner that resembles typical voting as closely as possible. Ideally, from the perspective of the voting machine, the testing behavior and environment are identical to the actual voting behavior and environment.

In parallel testing, the votes are cast on the machine according to a script that is developed to reflect actual voting data. The rates of speed in casting ballots, errors, revisions, attempted under-votes and over-votes, the rates of languages and disability uses should all be taken into consideration for the design of the scripted voting. The parallel test should begin as typical voting does at 7 AM and end when the poll closes. The ebb and flow of voting throughout the day should be reflected in the parallel testing. All votes cast on the parallel test machine should be documented on video tape and observed by at least 2 witnesses. At the end of the day, a comparison of the scripted vote tally is made with those tallied on the voting machine selected for the parallel test.

On the positive side, parallel testing is doable for our November 2006 elections and can provide some accountability to our system of elections in Pennsylvania. On the downside, our present system of elections depends largely upon blind faith by the voters and our county election officials in a history and environment that is steeped in partisan election fraud. Parallel testing is a minute and inadequate afterthought for election integrity. But it can provide a small window of truth. It is a small window into the accuracy of an unverifiable voting system. It will be the only possible check on our non-transparent system of our Pennsylvania election. An election that operates largely without voter verified paper ballots, without meaningful recounts or audits.

Once again, Allegheny County has the opportunity to become a leader in bringing some election integrity and voter confidence to Pennsylvania. Providing parallel testing in Allegheny County will raise the standard in Pennsylvania.

from: Richard King, 1236 Malvern Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217, (412) 400-3773
kinggaines -at- comcast -dot- net

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Social-networking sites take on political agendas

Social-networking sites take on political agendas Social networking sites such as can help people find new friends, dates or jobs. Now, with election season kicking into gear, a host of new sites aim to help them find political allies -- or sparring partners.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

How to steal and election

Three Princeton Computer experts believe that the Diebold AccuVote-TS voting machine, which is slated for use in 375 counties in the November 2006 elections, is vulnerable to criminal attacks.

In a published report the three researchers explain and demonstrate how easy it is for criminals to introduce malicious software to the machine. In less than one minute, a virus can be introduced which will steal votes, spread from machine to machine through memory cards, and can hide its tracks. The software can even delete itself from the machines at the end of elections.The report suggested the machine's software and hardware be updated and strict election procedures be implemented.

But a Diebold executive disagreed and said that the e-voting machine used for the research project has security software that is two generations old.

"By any standard--academic or common sense--the study is unrealistic and inaccurate," Dave Byrd, Diebold Election Systems president, said in a statement.

The purpose of an election is to accurately measure the intent of the voters. The challenge is to convince the losing candidate and his supporters that he truly lost the election. Sufficient evidence can only come from a combination of properly- engineered technology and robust procedures for handling it. What this study aims to prove is that we can all benefit from a system that can supply that evidence.

A Demonstration Video exists too.

Full Report

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Irwin's petition for the voters

Saga from the citizens of North Huntingdon Twp., Irwin Boro and North Irwin Boro comprise Norwin School District.

Six years ago, the Irwin Public Library placed a referendum on the ballot to increase the millage to support the library from a half-mil to 1.2. It was defeated. On the next ballot, the Library board led the citizens of Irwin Boro, where the library was located, to think that if they supported the referendum they would save that library. So the second time around it passed. Plans immediately went into effect to build a 2.2 million dollar building in North Huntingdon Twp. for a new Norwin Library. The land was bought from the Carruther family which consists of the library solicitor and the library president. They were paid 400,000 for the land.

In the 6 years since, the library tax found on our property tax bill, has collected 400,000+/year. The library is paying a 30 year mortgage to the Irwin Bank. The library is getting 35,000 a year in dividends on their investments.

A group of citizens collected over 300 petition signatures to bring this tax up for vote again. They turned them into the Election Bureau on Sept. 7. We were told by a county solicitor that since we were citizens we could submit these petitions without a governing body authorization, although the solicitor said that they would be
reviewed. The next day Paula Pedicone of the Election Bureau called to say that after review the petitions were refused because we need authorization from the Norwin School Board. Our deadline was Sept. 8. Another solicitor called later in the day and said that the library is a county library and we should have petitioned the county commissioners.

It seems to me that we followed the Library Code to a T and that we are being railroaded. They told us that we need an attorney to successfully put this on the ballot.

Why can't citizens get anything done without an attorney?

I asked the 2nd county solicitor how much time we have to challenge this and he said he didn't know and would get back to me before the end of the day, but he didn't. What can be done????

Ebert Beeman suggested:

Print up a thousand fliers, mention the school board members by name and talk about what a bunch of lying scum those school board members are.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Steven Cliff's vote MN test with text messages via cell phones

See his experiment for election day at

From a mobile text phone, text: 41411

In you 160 characters first write: votemn

... then your message

The site allows anyone to see the texts that were sent in on the web ... you can
even register and subscribe to receive copies via SMS (may cost you based on
your cell phone plan (often 10 cents a piece without an unlimited package).

Some African countries have used SMS to report suspected election fraud. In
Minnesota, voters could report ballot shortages, troubles voting/registering,
send along turn-out reflections, thank election workers, etc. in a very public
way. Then on election night, folks could report on the election night parties. :-)

Steven Clift

P.S. If this actually works (if people use it), I'll propose it as an idea for
E-Democracy.Org to promote more formally. For now its just an individual

We Count 2006 dot Org

Americans are proud of our Democracy! Our founders, and many patriots along the way risked a great deal -- even their lives -- to create a Democratic State, with the Constitution and Bill of Rights as its foundation. They expected their children to protect it.

Do we still have a democracy? Do we REALLY have "representatives" that represent us? Why is there such a disconnect between the will of the people and the decisions of our leaders? For example, "How can we be 'free ' if we cannot choose peace?"

How can we be the "superpower" we claim to be while our republic is rapidly spiraling downward at the hands of people who don't represent us?

Our electoral system--the way we "choose" our leaders-- is badly broken. One key component : electronic voting machines--can completely subvert the will of the people. Numerous findings have shown e-voting to be a great threat to democracy. Despite a recent Zogby Poll which states that 92% of citizens don't trust these machines, our "representatives" insist on using them. As disastrous as these devices are for democracy, they are but one flawed component of the broken electoral system. There are many others.

We the people must fix our electoral system, and act to restore democracy, while we still can. Our children expect it of us.

If you are concerned, don't miss this historic event!

We Count - A Conference about Fair Elections and Democracy

Friday, Sept 29th, from 6 pm to 10 pm (Theater)


Saturday, Sept 30th, from 9 am to 9 pm (SC10, Theater)

at the

Cuyahoga Community College (Metro Campus), Cleveland, Ohio
(click here for directions)

Fabulous speakers and engaging workshops:

Mark Crispin Miller, Professor at NYU, and author of many books, including: Fooled Again - How the Right Stole the 2004 Elections & Why They'll Steal The Next One, Unless We Stop Them

Bev Harris, Steve Freeman, Nancy Tobi, Jonathan Simon, Bob Fitrakis, Richard Hayes Phillips, Bob Koehler, Greg Coleridge, Harvey Wasserman, Shaun Tucker, Paul Lehto, Ron Baiman, Kathy Dopp, Tony Minor, Jerry Adams, Victoria Lovegren, Marj Creech, Rady Ananda, Bruce O'Dell, Adele Eisner, Teresa James, Ron Olson, Pete Johnson, Stuart Wright, Warner Mendenhall, Dan Lucas, Dorcus Johnson, Lametris Joiner and more.

Ohio Gubernatorial and Secretary of State Candidates:

Bob Fitrakis, James Lundeen, Bill Peirce, Lee Fisher, Jennifer Brunner and Tim Kettler.

Filmmakers: Laura Paglin ("No Umbrella"); Dorothy Fadiman ("Stealing America: Vote by
Vote"); Jeff Kirkby ("Digital Quagmires"); Richard Van Slyke("The Right To Count");

Sponsors: Ohio Vigilance, Velvet Revolution, People For the American Way, Election Defense Alliance, Northeast Ohio Sierra Club, Northeast Ohio AFSC - Economic Justice and Empowerment Program , Free Press, CASE-Ohio, J30 Coalition, 51 Capital March, Clamor Magazine, Coloradoans for Voting Integrity, Columbus Institute for Contemporary Journalism, Concentric Media,, Cuyahoga County Green Party, Democracy for New Hampshire,,, Farhad Sethna-Immigration Attorney, Greater Cleveland Immigrant Support Network, Keen Bee Creative Studios, Laura Paglin ("No Umbrella"), Missourians for Honest Elections,
Ohio Voter Reform,, Progressive Democrats of America - Ohio, Roaming Video, The World Can't Wait, Voices of Cleveland & Beyond Productions, Women Speak Out For Peace and Justice, and others.

For more information & pre- registration (encouraged), please visit: or call 216-849-7470.