|Professor Lonna Rae Atkeson|
Projects: Audit of the 2006 Election in Bernalillo County
During the 2007 legislative session, the New Mexico Legislature passed a bill and Governor Richardson signed it into law, which provides for random voting system audits after every statewide general election (see 1-14-13.1, NMSA). The purpose of the law is to verify the accuracy and efficacy of the voting systems or vote tabulating machines in tabulating votes.
In the spring of 2008, we had the opportunity to develop and test audit procedures in Bernalillo County, New Mexico for the purpose of recommending specific recommendations and guidelines to the New Mexico Secretary of State in preparation for the 2008 post election audit and more broadly to consider and test methods that would be effective for other states and localities as they grapple with this issue. At the same time, our study is also meant to inform the public debate on the accuracy and integrity of the new optical scan voting systems deployed for the first time in the 2006 election.
We hope that our research is a useful tool as election administrators across New Mexico and the country prepare for the upcoming elections in 2008 and beyond. Our detailed examination of the audit process is meant to provide practitioners and stakeholders with valuable information in preparation for their own election audits.