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Utah's New Election Audit and Recount Procedures Found Lacking by Utah's Desert Greens Party & Utah Count Votes

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Utah's Desert Greens and Utah Count Votes (http://utahcountvotes.org) are concerned that the uncertainty of using volatile invisible electronic ballots that computer experts have shown are open to vote fraud and glitches makes manual audits important to give the public confidence in election results. Public comment was not solicited for Utah's new audit and recount procedures and no qualified mathematicians, degreed statisticians, or expert auditors were advisors to the Lt. Governor to develop these newly adopted election policies.

Utah's new audit procedures are an internal audit, conducted without permitting public observation or verification, by the same election officials who count the votes and handle the ballots. Is there any other industry that permits industry insiders to conduct its own audits, yet determines who controls such large budgets?

Since Utah's new audit procedures allow the Lt. Governor's office to select which voting machines will be audited during Election Day, before the election is finished, this information could be used by unscrupulous individuals within the Lt. Governor's office to manipulate the vote counts not selected for auditing.

Utah Count Votes and the Utah's Desert Greens believe that manual auditing of the machine counts should be publicly observable and transparent, and that the determination as to which machines are audited be made after polls are closed and after a detailed auditable report of each machine's vote counts is publicly released.

Kathy Dopp, Founder and President of Utah-based National Election Data Archive, and Joycelynn Straight of Utah Clear have developed an alternative election audit proposal and are seeking sponsors in the Utah legislature for independent election audit legislation that meets the transparency, verifiability, and sufficiency conditions.

Utah's Desert Greens and Utah Count Votes believe that Utah's election audit and recount policies could be improved by taking the following steps:


1. Audits should be conducted by independent auditors.

2. The public should be allowed to observe all audit procedures, including selection and manual vote counts.

3. A sufficient number of vote counts should be audited calculated to assure that any outcome-altering vote miscount would be detected.

4. Any recount should have a 100% manual audit, as per the public and the Utah Legislature's intentions

5. Diebold optical scan (OS) system counts should be audited separately from touch-screen (TS) counts.

6. Random assignment of auditors and auditors to counts as per the Brennan Center's recommendations should be used.

7. Recounts and audits should be publicly verifiable which necessitates that a public report of votes counted on each machine should be publicly released prior to randomly selecting the counts to be audited.

The full detailed response by the Utah's Desert Greens Party and Utah Count Votes, with detailed footnotes and its laundry list of shortcomings they found with Utah's new election procedures can be found at
http://utahcountvotes.org/ltgov/Response2LtGov-Audit-Recount.pdf

A copy of Utah's new election procedures, adopted on October 17, can be found at http://UtahCountVotes.org/ltgov/ElectionXPolicy.pdf and its executive summary at:
http://utahcountvotes.org/ltgov/SummaryAudit.pdf

A copy of the proposed alternative audit procedure that is favored by the Desert Green Party and Utah Count Votes can be found at
http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/VoteCountAudit-UT.pdf and the principles it is based on are found at:
http://electionarchive.org/ucvAnalysis/US/paper-audits/ElectionIntegrityAudit.pdf

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http://ElectionArchive.org

Founder and President of US Count Votes, dba The National Election Data Archive and volunteer for honest, accurately counted elections since 2003. Masters degree in mathematics with emphasis on computer science. Has written numerous academic and (more...)
 

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