California: Saving throw: Securing democracy with stats, spreadsheets, and 10-sided dice | Ars Technica

More than a dozen counties have now participated in a California-wide pilot project to provide a real-world test of what had previously been an academic theory. The pilot was authorized under California Assembly Bill 2023, which passed in 2010. Including audits conducted before the bill’s passage, 23 contests have been audited across several county-level elections in the state in recent years, and other counties, including Orange, Marin, and Yolo, will have additional audits in the coming weeks. California already has a mandatory audit law, which stipulates that a public manual tally of 1 percent of the precincts, chosen at random, must take place. But in Stark’s view, this is the wrong way to proceed. “There is no statistical justification for the 1 percent tally,” Stark explained. “It is a check on the accuracy of the system, but it is not well tied to ensuring that outcomes are right. It doesn’t require more counting for small margins than for large ones, and it does not require a full hand count, even if something is obviously wrong.”

Full Article: Saving throw: Securing democracy with stats, spreadsheets, and 10-sided dice | Ars Technica.

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