Even if an EIP-compliant system is not used to conduct an election, EIP can (and should) be used to audit every election. The only requirement is to mark every ballot beforehand and to issue each ballot anonymously. So if you are contemplating an election of any kind and already have a machine, scanning system or hand count process you are using, get in touch so we can help you set up an audit. THIS CANNOT BE DONE AFTER THE ELECTION - it must be set up beforehand. But it's easy, so don't delay!

But why are we bothering to audit an election in the first place? What’s the big deal? Well, if we care deeply about anything, the only way to ensure its accuracy is to audit it. Do we audit our bank statements? Do we audit exams? When we purchase something, do we ensure the price that ends up on the receipt is the price advertised? Of course we do. All of these activities are different forms of performing an audit. Likewise, the only way to determine the veracity of any election is to perform an audit. The only alternative is to accept the results out of ignorance or apathy. Sadly, that’s the state we find most of the world in when it comes to elections. This needs to change - right now!

Introducing EIP-Audit

With today’s technology, any election can be reconstructed. Ballot reconstruction will provide an accurate count of the recorded votes. That’s better than nothing, but when performed after the fact, it only provides a count of the ballots that were already processed. But it’s not an audit in the true sense because you can’t really audit each ballot. All you can do is show an accurate count of the votes on the ballots that were counted. What if those ballots, or some number of them weren’t valid in the first place? Or perhaps all of them weren't counted? Or maybe they were altered - or maybe entirely new votes were counted? Using reconstruction alone, there’s no way to tell.

But if you prepare the election ahead of time using a ballot marking process like EIP-Audit, then you can be assured that the election is properly audited, traceable, and 100% accurate. How is this possible? You simply mark each ballot ahead of time, randomly issue all ballots anonymously, and provide every voter a copy of their completed ballot. This can be accomplished easily with any existing election process, so it's time to get to work making it happen!

So the choices are that you either (1) do nothing and trust the reported, unverified outcome, (2) count the ballots by hand by trusting a teller committee or (3) first prepare the ballots using a ballot marking process where you can conduct the election with paper ballots, or machines and they can be counted by had or by machine. Only the third of these approaches provides an auditable result where the election can are be verified and guaranteed to be accurate.

It shouldn’t be hard to figure out that a ballot marking process is really the only way to go.

So let’s do that.

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