Election records and transparent elections, September 21, 2012
- 1 Discussion questions
- 1.1 What does the election monitoring process look like? What part of the process is public?
- 1.2 When requesting voting machine data what strategies exist, what docs to request? Machine info often considered proprietary.
- 1.3 What do you do if you suspect a problem with the consistency/legitimacy of an election?
- 1.4 What key polling documents exist?
- 2 Links
- 3 Participants
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What does the election monitoring process look like? What part of the process is public?
- Big part of monitoring lies in partisans keeping eye on other side. Not much public about that aspect.
- I know that the Elections Assistance Commission has public information available.
- Interestingly, EAC didn't even exist until after 2000 debacle.
- Elections Assistance Commission now sits w/o commissioners or an executive director.
- In Illinois, civil organizations can have poll-watchers observe the process.
- Guide for Illinois Poll Watchers.
- Luckily, the partisan nature of elections builds in monitoring safeguards by publicizing shortcomings of opponents.
- For election debate/ad monitoring, factcheck.org Fact Check is a great resource!
- Contacting Precinct Chairs is a great way to monitor the actual elections as well.
- What happens post election, timeline-wise?
- Local canvass by poll workers. Reporting to media. Real canvass of votes start.
- The municipal canvass is supposed to double check the work of the local board of canvassers.
Types of election monitoring
There are 3 forms of election monitoring: 1) Pre polling, 2) polling hours, 3) post polling.
- Pre-polling: verify poll lists, verify poll worker qualification. verify poll location staffing rules are followed. Verify the certification docs for the voting equipment (docs for 8 of 18 systems in WI not available) pre-election testing.
- I'd imagine pre-polling to include voter rolls, registration accuracy, etc.
- During polling monitoring is more restricted. During includes extended and early voting as well as voting on publicized date.
- Post polling: immediate canvass in the polling location. Do the simple numbers (e.g number of ballots cast) tie out? If not why not?
- Post: examine inspectors reports, compare voter marked voted ballots to software generated numbers.
- Post: distribution of voting by absentee, in-person, and early voting. Checking same day registrations.
- Post: Process Audits against election manual. Is everything done documented? is everything documented done?
When requesting voting machine data what strategies exist, what docs to request? Machine info often considered proprietary.
- Contractual Barriers to Transparency in Electronic Voting. Short paper with recommendations for government contracts with voting machine companies to ensure transparency.
- Contracts should be disclosed explicitly state that all vote data are public records.
What do you do if you suspect a problem with the consistency/legitimacy of an election?
- Generally, you report election fraud to your state's Secretary of State.
- Could go to voter machine source codes to verify machine integrity.
- BBV has 4 pillars of an election: 1) who can vote 2) who did vote 3) the vote count process 4) chain of custody. Corrupt any one of the four pillars and you shape the election out come.
- can vote = poll lists before /on Election Day include electronic databases for place with electronic poll books
- did vote = poll lists after Election Day including electronic databases for places with electronic poll books
- For electronic voting, chain of custody of data between the precinct and election authority is a critical component.
- Chain of custody = seals, signature, security logs, event logs (including electronic versions of such).
- I think an irregularity of 640 ballots of 1562 is fraud. WI GAB diagreed. Ruled "Mistakes were made."
What key polling documents exist?
- The inspectors' report. If it isn’t on the inspectors' report, it did not happen. Absence from the inspectors' report trumps even video from a legal point of veiw in WI.
- Inspectors' reports should contain signatures (often don't), number of ballots handed to voters.
- Inspectors' reports: seal number for the machine, memory cards, ballots bags.
- Reports include: Itemization of each incident encountered during the polling day (or polling week for early voting)
- Where can you find inspector's reports?
- In WI request ata minimum forms: GAB-104 and 105. complete list is here:gab.wi.gov/forms (GAB:100-119).
- I'd try to get list of registered voters before and after election; list of voters voting in election.
- Comparing precinct voter file history stats and electronic election results can be difficult; different prec. names used in KS.
- Statutory Overview Report. Doc from US Election Assistance Commission defining election terms by state.
- Lawyers Raking in Cash as Campaign Spending Hits Records. By June, 5 leading election monitoring firms had earned $10mil in the cycle vs $2.5mil for all of 2000.
- Potential voter fraud in Missouri primary election, October 4, 2010. We found several problems with MO State Rep race in 2010; MO courts ignored facts.
- 2004 paper work for Milwaukee
- Mass Voter Fraud Discovered in Florida. YouTube from Florida TV station about non-citizens voting.
- Montana: Comparison of Registered Voter Counts to Census Voting Age Population. Comparisons of voter registration to US census voting age by county in charts. A few states done so far.
11 participants: @BrianMcDaniel @ClerkBase @coryeuc @DianaLopezArt @EarlGlynn @FOIAchat @johnwashburn15 @kristie_de @MuckRockNews @SunshineStandrd @WatchdogLabs
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