Home About Leadership Causes News Contact Us

Non random precinct selection talk

Donate

Volunteer

Messaging

Honesty, Integrity, Competence, Transparency

Trust but Verify

As a software developer by profession, I know that computers can be programmed to do many things, including deceptive things. I was concerned that we are not allowed to directly inspect the code used in the tabulators so I wanted to know how we can be sure that the tabulators count our votes without manipulating them. I found a key component of that process, which is defined in State Statutes and New Mexico Administrative Code (NMAC), is the Post Election Machine Check. This process is driven by the Secretary of State and consists of the following basic components:

  1. Precincts are randomly selected for a 100% hand count to be compared with the machine counts captured in the election.
  2. The results are sent to an independent auditor for evaluation.
  3. The audit description, data, and results are posted for the public to see. A history of audit results can be found on the New Mexico Secretary of State's Election Audits page.
If this process were followed in accordance with the law (statutes and the NMACs), I am 90% confident that we would detect any faulty tabulators that would affect election outcomes. Unfortunately, through no fault of the Bernalillo County Clerk's office, at this point in time, I cannot say that the process has been followed in accordance with the law.

Based on the results of my investigations, I have developed and presented the following talks on the use of Tabulators in NM Elections:

  1. Election Integrity in New Mexico from my perspective BEFORE the posting of the 2022 Post General Election Voting System Check Audit Results.
  2. 2022 Post General Election Voting System Check non random selection of precincts from my perspective AFTER the posting of the 2022 Post General Election Voting System Check Audit Results.

In addition, Tim Ragsdale did an independent study of the precinct selections used in the post 2022 system check. He prepared a report titled Election Audit Precinct Selection 2022, Three Anomalies Proving It Was Not Random. This is a detailed analysis by a man with the following qualifications: M.S. Computer Systems and Software Engineering (Air Force Institute of Technology), B.S. Computer Engineering (University of Arizona), 30+ Years Modeling Simulation & Analysis Experience.

Again, this is not a fault of the Bernalillo County Clerk's Office. They are very professional and carefully follow the rules as laid out for them within the constraints that are imposed on them.

Tim and I, as well as others, are working to address this issue and we hope to have it resolved before the next election. In fact, our confidence in 2024 election results, including my own, depend on this issue being resolved. Every candidate should be concerned about this.

4/28/2024 UPDATE: As mentioned elsewhere, we have received copies of the precinct selection tools from the SOS for 2022 and 2023. Although the 2022 tool did not translate the random dice rolls into random precinct selections, in my opinion based on the data, it is quite obvious what happened.

The precincts in the data posted by the SOS which was used in the tool were only partially sorted. There is no requirement for it to be sorted when posted. It seems the auditor accumulated counts on the non-sorted precincts. These accumulated counts are essential to make the correct precinct selections. After that, presumably because they noticed that the precincts were not sorted correctly, they then moved each out of order precinct and its associated data to the correct location. This broke the brackets used for selecting precincts associated with many of the dice rolls.

From a practical perspective, there were too many out of order precincts to manually move by hand as described above. Most likely the method they used was to run an excel sort on the data AFTER the the counts were accumulated. Thus, the brackets were broken in many locations. At this point they could have recalculated the accumulations which would have corrected the broken brackets but they failed to do so.

This appears to be a human error and should not repeat itself with proper training. In fact, it did not happen in the 2023 audit and the 2023 tool looks fine. In my opinion, the 2023 tool worked as intended and correctly translated the random dice rolls into the corresponding random precinct selections.

References

  1. Statutes, Chapter 1 - Elections - Research state laws regarding elections
  2. NMACs, Chapter 10 - Elections and Elected Officials - Research New Mexico election administrative codes
  3. Bernco Notifications For Elections - Keep track of your opportunities to participate in Bernalillo County elections

Paid for by Clay Pryor for NM