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The results from Michigan election officials were alarming from the 2016 Presidential election. Updating voting equipment, institute early voting options for constituents, and implement post-election audits will improve the process and eliminate errors as used in most states.
The errors are alarming but not sizeable enough to affect the voting outcome. This does represent a lack of respect for the process, constituents, and workers involved in the process. Of 248 precincts, there were a total of 782 more votes tabulated by voting machines than others picking up voting ballots. With 248,211 votes submitted in the City of Detroit, this represents a 3,150 DPMO, defects per million opportunities, or a rounded sigma level of 4.2. The defect by precinct represents 37% of the total 662 precincts or a 370,000 DPMO or a 1.8 sigma level. In 158 precincts, the number of ballots compiled by optical scanning devices compiled votes less that people that voted. Overall, 60% of Detroit precincts contained some type of defect to a level that would not support a recount. To make the issue more significant, this was the first time that actual votes for over and under counted votes were reported to the public. Detroit wasn’t the only location with voting errors. At least one out of every 22 counties also experienced the same issue of number of voter did not equal the number of votes. The issues of fraud and illegal voting were not addressed, but could be with the votes that were tabulated.
In most processes, this would not be considered world class or acceptable for a voting procedure. A voting procedure must be beyond a 6 sigma level or less than 3 defects per million votes. Let’s continue the transparency of this issue to validate that every vote counts and is counted.
Gary Kapanowski – Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt – Excelsior
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