Principles and Best Practices for Post-Election Audits

(Full disclosure: I contributed to, participated in reviewing, and editing this document)

Released today at a press conference in Alexandria, VA, after many months of work:

http://www.electionaudits.org/files/best%20practices%20final_0.pdf

These principles were written to guide the design of high-quality post- election audits. They were developed by an ad hoc group comprising many stakeholders, including election officials, public advocates, computer scientists, statisticians, political scientists and legislators.

Nearly all US elections today are counted using electronic voting systems. Such voting systems have produced result- changing errors through problems with hardware, software, and procedures.[1] Errors can also occur in hand counting of ballots or in the compiling of results. Even serious error can go undetected if results are not audited effectively.

No person, voting official, legislator, or expert can comprehend the whole voting and auditing process. At some point we must rely on the considered judgment of experts rather than only on individual experience. Using these principles state legislators can assess and improve current election and post-election audit laws. Using the principles and best practices election officials can improve the integrity and confidence of the post-election audit process. In turn providing integrity and confidence in our elections and democracy.

The last page of the document has the list of endorsing groups:

VerifiedVoting – Common Cause
Brennan Center For Justice – American Statistical Association
Advocate groups from MN, MI, MA, CO, FL and CT

Update:  PCWorld Coverage

Update: New Mexico Independent Coverage

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