Data Volunteers Needed for Election Forensics Project

A message from Bruce O'Dell

Welcome to the Election Defense Alliance Data Analysis Project! 

Click here for an overview of the Election Data Analysis Project in PDF format.

Thank you for considering volunteering your time to help us build the critical baseline of election data that we believe will help us to statistically identify problem areas in the upcoming election.  Let me start by trying to answer some questions you may have
in mind.  Then you write me back and I'll get you started. If you'd like to correspond with other volunteers, just let me know.
What is the EDA Election Data Capture Project?
As you know, more and more voters cast ballots on machines without audit mechanisms, and even when some kind of paper record is available, in practice the official tally of optical scan and DRE voting machines is accepted without question. EDA believes that this is not good enough. One of the few remaining means of assessing the integrity of the voting process in America is to gather and analyze detailed, precinct-level voting records. By building a single database of detailed election data from all over the country, we should be able to identify,through statistics, places where there may be problems -- accidental or deliberate -- in accurately tallying votes. For example, if the partisan balance in election returns in two precincts with historically similar demographics and historically similar voting histories suddenly changes when new voting equipment is installed, well, that well might be of concern. 
If the same pattern emerges for precincts all across the country, well, that would truly be something of major concern.
Who am I and what am I up to?
I'm Bruce O'Dell - Data Analysis Coordinator for EDA; in my day job, I'm a computer systems architect and security consultant with 25 years' experience in the financial services industry. I volunteered
to help EDA gather election data and mobilize volunteers to assist in the process of converting it into a common format we can use for analysis. EDA will take the data you help to provide, will consolidate it into a single (huge) database, and then make that data available without charge to anyone at all who wants to study it.  I plan to take EDA's copy of this data to work face to face with Jonathan Simon, Stephanie Frank Singer, Steven Freeman, Josh Mitteldorf and many other colleagues during election week. We will analyze the 2006 election returns as they come in, comparing them to the historical data that this project is building, to exit polls, and to other information we're gathering.  Our goal is to identify potential problems with the official tally soon enough to effectively raise an issue -- with candidates, the alternative and mainstream media, and the public at large.
What exactly does EDA want you to do?
EDA has already located and downloaded precinct-level election results for all fifty states -- in most cases, from several federal and state election cycles going back to the late 1990s.
The good news is, this data is available. The bad news is that not only is there a mountain of it, it's in the originalformat that state and local governments published it.  In some cases, nice states provided election data already in some kind of database-compatible form. I love those states, because it makes EDA's task much easier.
But a lot of states - and wouldn't you know, some of the most interesting ones, like Virginia and Ohio -- make it much difficult to gather and analyze their precinct level election data. They publish it only on web pages, or in .pdf documents, or county by county.
So that's where you come in. I will mail you a set of state or county precinct-level election results and a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet for you to enter the results into, and mail back to me.

What will I need?
In addition to your priceless offer of your time -- thank you once more -- you will need a computer that can run a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and read Adobe PDF files. If you do not own a copy of Microsoft Excel, there is a free (yes, free!) program you can download from (
- you'll use the "Calc" program to work with EDA's Excel files.  And if you need it you can obtain a free program to read Adobe .pdf files from
How do I fill out the spreadsheet?
Open the Excel spreadsheet EDA sends you. There will be instructions starting on page 1. I will be available to answer your questions - responding as quickly as I can at 612-309-1330 or a . 
What do I do when I'm done?
That's easy -- email the results to me at
What have I gotten myself into?
I know this sounds overwhelming, but you are really making a vitally important contribution to help EDA protect the integrity of America's elections in 2006. Plus, everyone who returns accurately transcribed data, in addition to having to a warm feeling of civic pride, will be recognized on the EDA web site if they wish.  I know you're not in it for the money, but I'm also working on other fabulous prizes -- such as free copies of election integrity documentaries, autographed copies of the latest election integrity books...
Thank you!
Bruce O'Dell

Data Analysis Coordinator
Election Defense

Election Data Analysis Proposal Public.pdf352.17 KB