Wisconsin Election Integrity Action Team

Independent Digital Ballot Audit Pilot Project, 2014

Finding proof that an electronic miscount or a hacker had determined the results of a Wisconsin election would be a big, big scandal. But here's an even bigger scandal: No one has any proof election results haven't been miscounted or hacked.

In every other use of computer technology, computer output is routinely checked for accuracy, but Wisconsin election clerks check only that the computers counted the right number of ballots, not the right number of votes. It's as if the grocery clerk gave you a receipt showing only the number of items scanned and how much you owe. 

Wisconsin's county clerks have statutory responsibility for accurate election results, but they don't check for two reasons:

  • They are reluctant to open ballot bags sealed on Election Night for fear that partisans will accuse them of tampering.
  • The time pressure to finalize election results coming from the news media and others. 

To solve these two problems, the Wisconsin Election Integrity Action Team has developed software that creates a slide show out of the digital images of ballots that are automatically created by a type of voting machine used in many Wisconsin counties.

With the procedures demonstrated in this video, Wisconsin's election clerks in counties that use those machines could easily, quickly, and in full view of the public verify whether voting-machine output identified the correct winners in every election, and would never again have to certify election results as "correct and true" until they know for sure.

The first 11 minutes of this video contain an explanation of the problem, explanation of the ballot images, and random selection of the precincts. The actual demonstration of the verification begins around 11:25.

For more information about prudent management of elections technology and how local election officials and citizens can help to protect our elections from miscounts, visit http://www.wisconsinelectionintegrity.org/blog.