Next Steps for the Colorado Risk-Limiting Audit (CORLA) Program

Mark Lindeman, Neal McBurnett, Kellie Ottoboni, Philip B. Stark (preprint)
March 2, 2018

Abstract: Colorado conducted risk-limiting tabulation audits (RLAs) across the state in 2017, including both ballot-level comparison audits and ballot-polling audits. Those audits only covered contests restricted to a single county; methods to efficiently audit contests that cross county boundaries and combine ballot polling and ballot-level comparisons have not been available.

Colorado’s current audit software (RLATool) needs to be improved to audit these contests that cross county lines and to audit small contests efficiently.

This paper addresses these needs. It presents extremely simple but inefficient methods, more efficient methods that combine ballot polling and ballot-level comparisons using stratified samples, and methods that combine ballot-level comparison and variable-size batch compar- ison audits in a way that does not require stratified sampling.

We conclude with some recommendations, and illustrate our rec- ommended method using examples that compare them to existing ap- proaches. Exemplar open-source code and interactive Jupyter note- books are provided that implement the methods and allow further exploration.

Featured Fellow

Kellie Ottoboni


Philip B. Stark

Statistics; Statistical Computing Facility
Co-I for Moore/Sloan Data Science Environment