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Response to garybeck (Reply #161)

Thu Oct 11, 2012, 12:20 PM

166. I encourage you, YET no audit provides REASSURANCE of election accuracy


If you were to call what you are doing INVESTIGATING, I'd be all for it. Then, after your investigation (limited as it is and probably always will be with computerized systems) you clean report the positives and negatives that resulted, and indicate clearly how the scope of your investigation (formerly called an "audit") was limited and those data outside your view or no longer available could well be as corrupted as anything ever seen. Such would be a useful investigation.

However, whenever somebody calls something an "audit" it intrinsically and unavoidably suggests to every reader that passing the "audit" means the election was free and fair, etc. And that's just a false, overreaching statement. The last thing anybody should do is inspire false-confidence but this happens unavoidably by using the concept of an "audit".

If the IRS only "audited" 1 or 2% of your tax deductions, would you consider that to be an "IRS audit" or would a tax cheat laugh themselves silly realizing that 98 or 99% of their erroneous and illegal deductions would not get caught? It's a simple matter to do the math and randomly bury a certain number of fraudulent precincts necessary to steal, say, 2% of the vote, and then see what the odds are that a 1% random audit of precincts will actually uncover any of the fraudulent precincts. ??

This is why Palm Beach County elections supervisor Susan Bucher is so sure that other errors exist that were NOT caught. The Florida 2% audit is going to miss many errors and fraudulent elections, even in those fraction of cases where this type of audit is fully CAPABLE of catching the error (there are other kinds of frauds that this kind of audit will never catch and indeed it is not designed to catch them)

The above can be summed up in part by saying there are huge issues with the SCOPE of any audit (as well as the TIMELINESS of any audit), especially in light of the over-reassurance and false confidence suggested by the term "audit" itself. Ultimately, no election is truly "auditable" because of the secret ballot - it denies the ability to connect a ballot to a voter and go back to the source of the information (the voter herself) and verify that the ballot correctly reflects the voter's intent and has not changed.

To make an analogy to a truer and better audit - the IRS audit - it would be like the IRS being unable to require the production of original sources of information (receipts for deductions) and then concluding at the end of such an IRS "Audit" that if one somehow passed the audit that all deductions were somehow legit! Without being able to go back to the voter or the receipt, no true audit is possible under any formula one might devise.

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