Utah's New Election Audit and Recount Procedures Found Lacking by Utah's Desert Greens Party and Utah Count Votes
DATE: Thursday, October 26, 2006
RE: "Election Policy" Adopted October 17, 2006 by the Office of the Lt. Governor of Utah
URLS: utahcountvotes.org/ltgov/ElectionXPolicy.pdf and utahcountvotes.org/ltgov/SummaryAudit.pdf
WHO: Utah's Desert Greens Party, www.GPUT.org and Utah Count Votes, UtahCountVotes.org
WHERE: Salt Lake City, UT
CONTACT: Kathy Dopp, email@example.com, 435-658-4657
The Utah's Desert Greens Party, the Utah affiliate of the Green Party of the United States ( gp.org), and Utah Count Votes, an election integrity group, oppose Utah's new election procedures for vote count audits and recounts. After a careful review of Utah's new internal audit procedures for the upcoming November 7, 2006 general mid-term election, Utah Count Votes and the Desert Greens Party feel that Utah's newly adopted election policies weaken Utah's election processes and fail to ensure Utah's election integrity.
Their concerns include:
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.
Major problems they identified with Utah's new audit and recount procedures include:
1. Not Verifiable by the Public
o No auditable report of election results (counts on each voting machine for each race or issue) is publicly released prior to selecting which counts will be audited, so the audit could be manipulated (by adjusting election results numbers to match aggregated vote totals, despite not matching detailed machine counts).
o The counts to audit may be randomly selected prior to poll closure and announcement of election results, and therefore the audit could be manipulated (by manipulating machine vote counts to alter election outcomes that are known will not be audited).
o Not publicly observable (the public is not permitted to observe either the random selection of the counts, or the
o No access to records needed to verify
o Results of the audit Not Publicly Released
2. Not Transparent