Election Audits: Our best tool (at the present time) to improve election integrity
Imagine if run a company of professional drivers, and their vehicles are equipped with a "black box" which provides a report of how well they have been driving. Each driver is required to audit his own driving, by taking the computer report out of the box and using that to make the report. The audit requires that the driver randomly select 1% of the days out of the prior year and then report if they ever went over the speed limit. Now, if no one is watching, then you can expect that almost all the drivers will just adjust the numbers to show that they were all perfectly within the speed limit on those days. And since they can see the report, they can just "randomly" choose days that were those "good days" when they drove always under the speed limit and avoid any days with violations. So this sort of audit is basically completely worthless. And it is almost exactly comparable to the worthless audits being done by election officials.
However, if we have someone WATCHING the audit, then it can be much, much better. There are a few key things we must do. 1 we must get a copy of the computer report BEFORE the random selection. 1 we must watch the random selection to make sure it is squeaky clean, using dice for example, and not just choosing the good ones. 1 Take a look at the report and compare it ourselves to the original computer report to see if there was any cheating on the audit.
See Random Draw Oversight for details on the random draw.
This analogy is almost a perfect match to the 1% manual Tally audits being done in California and some other states. Not all states do election audits, and no two states are the same.
California & Florida: Random Selection Meeting (We need volunteers!)
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Most important is the Random selection meeting. We need to get a MUCH larger number of the public attending and watching these! We need to video record, and if they say you can't do it, we need to PUSH THE ISSUE, because this is a public meeting and under the Brown Act, cameras and video recording is allowed. We will be targeting the most populous 24 counties in CA, which comprises more than 92% of the vote and includes (at least part of) all congressional districts. However, if you want to do any of the other 34 counties, please let us know so we can include you in the team. These dates are still being confirmed. Please DOUBLE CHECK the date AND location. We already notified all counties that volunteers may attend.
Please SIGNUP here: http://www.citizensoversight.org/signup
If polling places produce reports, capture results. (no results are produced in CA-SD)
Election Night Processing
Witness & Video Record central office processing.
Download "Snapshot" File
Need to capture frozen election results. (Can submit URL to EDH.) Results must be broken down by precinct (and perhaps also by batch). Different states use differing terminology: CA - "Official Semi-Final Canvass" FL - "Official Canvass"
Random Selection Meeting
Attend and video-record the random selection process. Check location. Arrive early. Verify all precincts or batches are included in the draw. (Esp. true if they use raffle-style drawing.) Record the results.
Observe Manual Tally
Watch manual tally process. Note how officials deal with results and whether they match computer results.
Get Manual Tally Report
Get and download Manual Tally Report. (Can submit to EDH) Note: Need actual counts of each batch, not just discrepancies.
Access tally sheets
If the report does not disclose actual counts, need to access tally sheets. Request access from Registrar, Take photos of the totals.
Compare with Snapshot
Compare the actual counts of manual tally with snapshot data. (We can help here if you need help digesting the snapshot data file)
(a)Any person attending an open and public meeting of the state body shall have the right to record the proceedings with an audio or video recorder or a still or motion picture camera in the absence of a reasonable finding by the state body that the recording cannot continue without noise, illumination, or obstruction of view that constitutes, or would constitute, a persistent disruption of the proceedings.
(b)Any audio or video recording of an open and public meeting made for whatever purpose by or at the direction of the state body shall be subject to inspection pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1), but may be erased or destroyed 30 days after the recording. Any inspection of an audio or video recording shall be provided without charge on equipment made available by the state body.
(c)No state body shall prohibit or otherwise restrict the broadcast of its open and public meetings in the absence of a reasonable finding that the broadcast cannot be accomplished without noise, illumination, or obstruction of view that would constitute a persistent disruption of the proceedings.
Cal. Gov't. Code §54953.5(a).
(a)Any person attending an open and public meeting of a legislative body of a local agency shall have the right to record the proceedings with an audio or video recorder or a still or motion picture camera in the absence of a reasonable finding by the legislative body of the local agency that the recording cannot continue without noise, illumination, or obstruction of view that constitutes, or would constitute, a persistent disruption of the proceedings.
So if they try to blcck you from recording, please RECITE THIS LAW to them and ASK THEM for their WRITTEN REASONABLE FINDING that it cannot be accomplished "without noise, illumination, or obstruction of view that would constitute a persistent disruption of the proceedings."
Your defense if they try to block you from recording!