For those of us who have grave suspicions about the integrity of our election system since the Help America Vote Act (what a name) was passed and electronic voting became widespread we have some good news today. In Iowa a random precinct in every county will be chosen for a random audit. Hand marked paper ballots will be hand counted to confirm or deny the count by the machine scanners
It is possible to do such an audit in Iowa because we do have paper ballots that can be hand counted by humans rather than direct recording voting machines which are pretty much unverifiable.
From the report on WQAD TV in Moline:
“Iowa election officials in each of the state’s 99 counties will hand count votes in one randomly selected precinct for the general election as an added security measure.
Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate says the manual vote count process was added to Iowa’s election security process in a 2017 law and will be used for the first time in Iowa this year.
Pate says his office will select a precinct in each county and officials will hand count votes to be sure the totals match the electronic counter that scanned and counted ballots.
Iowa uses paper ballots counted by machines.”
If I recall my statistics from many years back the number of precincts to be counted are smaller than what is needed to get a scientifically accurate number. Also the selection method should be more random than designating at least one precinct per county. Yet this is much more than we have had before. As a severe skeptic of machine voting I am happy to see at least this. Those who deal with statistics probably have many more problems with this setup, but it is a start.
These audits are not the brain child of our current Secretary of State, but were part of the omnibus election bill passed last year in the Iowa legislature. This bill was more noted as the voter ID bill. Here are the links to relevant clauses of that bill:
To be honest, I waded through this and am still quite confused what happens if they find discrepancies, especially wide discrepancies.
For right now I feel a bit better anyway. There is an old saying that goes “It is not who votes that counts, but who counts the votes.” This helps in stopping some of the problems we believe may be going on behind the scenes.