Auditing Ranked Voting Elections with Dirichlet-Tree Models: First Steps


Ranked voting systems, such as instant-runo voting (IRV) and single transferable vote (STV), are used in many places around the world. They are more complex than plurality and scoring rules, pre- senting a challenge for auditing their outcomes: there is no known risk- limiting audit (RLA) method for STV other than a full hand count. We present a new approach to auditing ranked systems that uses a sta- tistical model, a Dirichlet-tree, that can cope with high-dimensional pa- rameters in a computationally e cient manner. We demonstrate this ap- proach with a ballot-polling Bayesian audit for IRV elections. Although the technique is not known to be risk-limiting, we suggest some strategies that might allow it to be calibrated to limit risk.



Auditing, Instant-Runoff Voting, Risk-Limiting Audit