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Reply #38: A possibility to recount by hand? When and where? [View All]

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Bill Bored Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-05-09 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #20
38. A possibility to recount by hand? When and where?
Edited on Mon Jan-05-09 08:10 PM by Bill Bored
NY election law has never allowed post-election recounts. The law requires recounts to be done at the polling places on election night. You want a recount? Fine, do it before any of the ballots are moved, in front of all the required witnesses from at least the 2 major parties.

Now, with a voting system where paper ballots are counted by computers, on what basis would there be cause for such a recount? There is no way to know by observation that anything is wrong, unless you get a completely off-the-wall result such as a polling place with no votes. If 10% of the vote were switched by a scanner, no one would know, but that's physically impossible with a lever machine.

So now we are supposed to have the post-election audit, days after the polls have closed and the paper ballots have been relocated. And we need a sample of these relocated ballots that would be large enough to detect tampering or errors made by software. Do you know how big a hand count that would have to be? Probably not because there's no simple answer to the question. It depends on a number of factors that most people don't even want to know about. And how do we know these are the same ballots cast on election night anyway?

In NY, the lever voting machine that solved all these problems by providing accurate counts on election night with a fully disclosed counting system that never relied on software. You can't just replace such a system with computers without introducing unprecedented undetectable risks to the vote count.

If you can show me a method that will work, I'm interested, but so far, nobody has, although we keep trying. Until a couple of years ago, hardly anyone had even done the math to figure out how many paper ballots had to be recounted by hand to prove that the machines called the election correctly. Now that we have some idea of how many, almost no one's actually doing it!

This thread is about IRV which multiplies the complexity of this problem. I don't know if you're pushing for that or not, but you seem to be OK with trusting software and post-election recounts of ballots that may not even be the same ones voted on election night. That's essentially what you're pushing if you think NY should replace lever voting machines with computers.
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