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CO: New Election Audit Targets Close Races - County is the First to Use a 'Risk-Limiting' Audit

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Wilms Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-26-08 08:51 PM
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CO: New Election Audit Targets Close Races - County is the First to Use a 'Risk-Limiting' Audit

New Election Audit Targets Close Races

County is the First to Use a 'Risk-Limiting' Audit

By Laura Snider

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

This week, county clerks across the state are sending the results of their post-election audits to the secretary of state, making their unofficial election results official.

But a growing group of vocal statisticians is starting to question whether any of the state-mandated audits across the country actually confirm -- with any real accuracy -- that the election results are correct.

This year, Boulder County used an entirely different kind of post-election audit, one that is both more complicated and more accurate, to vet the results of November's election. Election workers found no problems with the county's results, even though an issue with paper dust on the county's scanner lenses slowed the vote-counting process to a crawl.

~snip~

McBurnett's "risk-limiting" audit system also determines the number of votes that should be audited based on how tight the race is. For example, the margin for Lafayette Issue 2A was much tighter than for Boulder's Issue 2A, so the audit team looked at seven batches of ballots for the Lafayette race and only two for the Boulder race.

Hall said she was convinced to try the new system after she began to really understand what an audit is and how it works, but she says she hasn't seen a lot of interest from other clerk and recorders in the state who might be want to change their own systems.

"It was worth the resources," Hall said. "We have a high level of assurance."

~snip/more~

http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2008/nov/26/new-electio... /

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