American Statistical Association: Hard Copy Audits Critical To Election Integrity

Press Release: American Statistical Association Calls for Audits to Increase Confidence in Electoral Outcomes, ASA Board adopts position on Electoral Integrity <release> . This should erase all lingering doubt on the part of legislators, election officials, and non-statisticians:

“Trustworthy elections demand integrity throughout the entire electoral process, from voting laws and regulations to details of implementation, including maintaining voter registration lists and a secure chain of custody for voted ballots. All processes and data of US elections should be subject to statistically sound, continuous-quality monitoring and improvement. Data releases should be comprehensive and timely and follow standardized, readily analyzable formats. It is critical that the integrity of central vote tabulations be confirmed by audits of voter-verified hard-copy records in order to provide high — and clearly specified — levels of confidence in electoral outcomes...

Certification of any electoral outcome should require substantiating evidence that the putative winner was the intended selection of the plurality of voters. Compelling statistical evidence of electoral failure should be accepted as a basis for judicial remedy.

This is in addition to an earlier statement covered here several months ago:

The American Statistical Association’s Science and Public Affairs Advisory Committee has recommended that post election audits have at least a 90% level of confidence.

Election officials need to make sure the person elected winner is the person the most voters want..Election results are most trustworthy when the entire election process can be audited, not just the vote counts…the audit should have the statistical power to trigger additional action at least nine out of 10 times when the wrong winner is declared.(emboldening added)

There should be no remaining question that statistical audits represent the only recognized mainstream scientific method for insuring effective audits and are a necessary component of audits that can provide true confidence in election results.

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