Share Button

Letter to Gov. Newsom to include all ballots in the audit

Citizens Oversight (2020-07-07) Ray Lutz

This Page: https://copswiki.org/Common/M1947
Media Link: https://copswiki.org/w/pub/Common/M1947/2020-07-15_M1947_Letter_to_Gov_Newsom_on_Audits--FINAL.pdf
More Info: Audit Engine, Election Audits, Election Integrity

THE REQUEST

Issue an executive order and pursue legislation so that

  1. Election Audits include all, or nearly all vote-by-mail ballots.
  2. Ballot Images and Cast-Vote Records shall be made available as public records

Plot from the letter:

Plot of audited annotated.png

Activists and Organizations -- Contact the Gov, SOS, Legislature

Please, if you agree with this request of Gov. Newsom and the CA legislature, please contact them directly! This is extremely important.

Here is a proposed "script" or email message you might want to send, but please modify it to your taste. Different is better than the same.
I am contacting you today to support action on the letter sent by Citizens' Oversight, regarding the fact that we may have up to six million ballots unaudited in the coming election.

I support the request that the Governor issue an executive order and work to change the law, so that:

  1. Election Audits include all, or nearly all vote-by-mail ballots.
  2. Ballot Images and Cast-Vote Records shall be made available as public records

AB-840, which gutted the audit requirements for VBM ballots should be reversed. Please send my message to all concerned with this issue.

Thank you!

WHAT TO DO
  • PLEASE -- CA RESIDENTS
    • call at least the four phone numbers below, and send messages as well if you can.
    • contact your assemblymember or senator as well and do the same.

  • OTHER ORGANIZATIONS OUTSIDE CA
    • Please send a letter of support.
    • Consider your state and send a similar letter if they are not auditing VBM ballots!

CONTACT INFORMATION

Press Release


If the document does not display above, click here

Letter to Gov. Newsom, PDF Version

Media

Publisher Date Description Link
Brad Blog, KPFK radio 2020-07-20 Ray Lutz spoke on this radio program starting at the last half of the program Link

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Aren't VBM ballots are already included in the audit?

Elections officials may say that "the 1% manual tally already includes VBM ballots." In fact, here is a typical reply, this one from the city clerk:
Please see link below to the Secretary of State's webpage regarding risk limiting audits. It specifically states the following: "1% Manual Tally: Elections officials conduct a public manual tally of 1% of all ballots tabulated on a voting system during an election, including vote-by-mail ballots." In addition, Elections Code Section 15360 also specifies that vote by mail ballots are counted in the tally. That link is also provided below.

https://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/risk-limiting-audits/

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayText.xhtml?lawCode=ELEC&division=15.&title=&part=&chapter=4.&article=5.

A: Yes, some VBM ballots are. But only those received by election night.

If you look carefully at Election Code section 15360, it first says

"1% Manual Tally: Elections officials conduct a public manual tally of 1% of all ballots tabulated on a voting system during an election, including vote-by-mail ballots."

But then later, it expands on this requirement:

...using either of the following methods: (1) (A) A public manual tally of the ballots canvassed in the semifinal official canvass, including vote by mail ballots but not including provisional ballots
The italics were added. The term "semifinal official canvass" includes only the VBM ballots received by election night.

Prior to 2017, this phrase did not exist. In 2016, Citizens' Oversight sued San Diego county for not including the VBM ballots that are not received and processed by election night, as was required by the direct reading of the law. We won in the lower court. Upon appeal, the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials (CACEO) led by Los Angeles County Clerk and Registrar of Voters Dean Logan, and in concert with SOS Alex Padilla, pushed through AB-840(2017) which made the change above, specifically, to not include the later-arriving VBM ballots in the audit, and gutting the 1% Manual Tally audit.

Citizens' Oversight and other volunteers has watched the 1% Manual Tally audits in San Diego, Los Angeles, and many other counties. Most do not include the later-arriving VBM ballots at all, but some ROVs do include more of them. With the vast increase in VBM voting this year, we need to include most, if not all, of the later-arriving VBM ballots as well to avoid accusations that CA results are not reliable. The election officials in each county CAN increase the scope of the 1% manual tally but it is not mandated, and unfortunately, AB-840 made it legal to leave out these later-arriving ballots.

The Risk-Limiting Audits DO include VBM ballots, but no counties are implementing this type of audit that we are aware of.

Q: If some VBM ballots are included, isn't that enough?

Some people, includign elections officials, may admit that not all VBM ballots are included, but will go on to say that because at least some are included, then any possible errors are covered by including only the early-arriving VBM ballots.

A: No. All, or nearly all VBM ballots must be included in the audit to protect against malfeasance

The later-arriving VBM ballots are easily identifiable as a set, and they are explicitly not included in the "semi-final official canvass". They may also be very numerous. For example, in San Diego in the 2016 primary election, there were 285,000 ballots excluded from the 1% Manual Tally audit. in that election, the margin of victory in the Democratic Presidential Primary election was only about 16,000 votes between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders. If we assume there might be a compromised insider at the elections office who could modify the results in the later-arriving VBM ballots, then this manipulation would go undetected because NONE of the later-arriving VBM ballots are audited. In this case, if fewer than about 8,000 ballots were not audited, then it would not be feasible to alter that close election. So not all VBM ballots are essential. Yet, of those 285,000 ballots, about 75,000 were provisional ballots, and no counties are auditing those, nor are they required to be audited, and that itself is larger than the set of 8,0000 ballot exclusion that would be allowed while still being able to detect such a compromised election.

The number of VBM ballot that can be left out is dependent on the margin of the election.

Q: Which ballots are included?

Are all the ballots received by election day eligible to be included in the 1% manual tally, or is it that all ballots processed by election day are eligible to be included in the manual tally? Or are they the same set and thus every VBM ballot received at the ROV by and including election day is counted by election day and eligible for the 1% manual tally?

A:

The VBM ballots that are fully accepted, scanned, and included in the tabulation by election night are included in the "semi-final official canvass" and thus are required (not just "eligible") to be included in the 1% manual tally. But it is important to realize that many ballots are received by election day, and maybe even a few days before election day, that are not fully processed, and then are not in the semi-final official canvass, and thus are not audited.

Comments

Media Form edit

Title Letter to Gov. Newsom to include all ballots in the audit
Publisher Citizens Oversight
Author Ray Lutz
Pub Date 2020-07-07
Media Link https://copswiki.org/w/pub/Common/M1947/2020-07-15_M1947_Letter_to_Gov_Newsom_on_Audits--FINAL.pdf
Remote Link
Embed HTML
Forum Link
Note Please read this topic for specific actions to help us make a difference!
Keywords Audit Engine, Election Audits, Election Integrity
Related Keywords Ballot Access Lawsuit, Snapshot Protocol, Election Audit Lawsuit, Snapshot Protocol
Media Type Article, PDF, Googledoc
Media Group News
Curator Rating Plain
Venue
Book ISBN
Author Name Sortable
Thumbnail Link
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
2020-07-15 M1947 Letter to Gov Newsom on Audits--FINAL.pdfpdf 2020-07-15 M1947 Letter to Gov Newsom on Audits--FINAL.pdf manage 457 K 2020-07-16 - 00:02 Raymond Lutz Letter to Gov. Newsom on Election Audits and Ballot Images
2020-07-15 Press Release on Letter to Newsom re audits.pdfpdf 2020-07-15 Press Release on Letter to Newsom re audits.pdf manage 110 K 2020-07-16 - 01:49 Raymond Lutz Press release regarding letter to Newsom
2020-07-15_M1947_Letter_to_Gov_Newsom_on_Audits--FINAL.pdfpdf 2020-07-15_M1947_Letter_to_Gov_Newsom_on_Audits--FINAL.pdf manage 457 K 2020-07-16 - 00:24 Raymond Lutz Letter to Gov. Newsom on Election Audits and Ballot Images
Plot of audited annotated.pngpng Plot of audited annotated.png manage 224 K 2020-07-16 - 00:53 Raymond Lutz Plot from the letter
Topic revision: r11 - 2020-07-31, RaymondLutz
This site is powered by FoswikiCopyright © by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding Cops? Send feedback