Green Party of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, March 14, 2021
PA Completes Election Audit Required by Jill Stein Settlement
-- By Emily Cook.
Outgoing PA Secretary of State Kathy Bookvar announced on February 5, that the pilot audit of last year’s presidential election had been successfully completed. Bookvar did not acknowledge that the audit had been required by the settlement in U.S. Court with the Green Party’s candidate for president in 2016. The PA Department of State said, “The risk-limiting audit is a scientifically designed procedure using statistical methods to provide a high level of confidence and statistical verification that the outcome of an election is accurate and detect possible interference.”
“At best, this pilot provided evidence that [President Joe] Biden got more votes than [Donald] Trump in total in the counties that participated in the pilot,” said Philip Stark, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley who invented risk-limiting audits. Stark told SpotlightPA, “That’s different from showing that any equipment worked properly, that the count was accurate, or that Biden won [Pennsylvania].”
2016 Presidential Green Party candidate Jill Stein and the Green Party can be credited with spotlighting Pennsylvania’s shortcomings in voting machine functions, underscoring the need for true paper ballots due to the unverifiability of the vote. The settlement in U.S. Court has again placed auditing under national scrutiny due to the controversy over the 2020 presidential election outcome. In that settlement, there was a directive that the PA Secretary of State must “direct each county to audit all unofficial election results using robust pre-certification audit methods to be determined based on the recommendations of a Work Group established by the Secretary.” It also required that the audit was to be implemented no later than 2022.
PA’s recently purchased and controversial ES&S ExpressVote XL voting systems (used in Cumberland, Northampton and Philadelphia Counties) still remain a problem. Rich Garella of Protect Our Vote Philly said, “Without a chain of custody for the ballots that are audited, and without full public transparency of the audit process, this pilot audit doesn’t prove or confirm anything to the public. As a pilot, it is not intended to. Next year when it’s done for real it will mean something as long as it’s done right.”
Jill Stein reminded PA voters of the issues which remain with some voting machines, “In Pennsylvania the ballot marking devices voters use actually invalidate any true audit.” It should be noted that these recent audits were pilots and performed without transparency and did not include four counties in their sampling. Until the election code is corrected, these audits are limited in value.
Emily Cook is a former chair of the Green Party of Montgomery County, PA, and was a plaintiff in Jill Stein vs. Cortes.
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org. Please follow GPPA on social media:
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For further information:
PA Vote Confirms Biden Got More Votes than Trump by Marie Albiges, Spotlight PA, March 10, 2021, https://www.spotlightpa.org/news/2021/03/pa-election-biden-trump-risk-limiting-audit-limitations/;
Risk Limiting Audit Pilot of November 2020 Presidential Election Finds Strong Evidence of Accurate Count, Pennsylvania Pressroom, February 5, 2021, https://www.media.pa.gov/pages/State-details.aspx?newsid=453;
Year 2 Report, PA Post-Election Audit Work Group, PA Department of State, December 31, 2020,
Judge Diamond’s Big Miscalculation by Emily Cook , Green Party of PA, May 19, 2020, https://www.gpofpa.org/judge_diamonds_big_miscalculation;
Settlement Agreement and Release, Stein vs. Cortes, U.S. District Court for Eastern PA, November 28, 2018, https://ecbawm.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Stein-v.-Cortes-Agreement-Signature-Pages-11-28-2018.pdf;
Protect Our Vote Philly, www.povphilly.org.
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