Former UC Berkeley Stats Chair Appointed to Election Assistance Commission Board

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has appointed Philip Stark, former chair of the University of California, Berkeley Statistics Department, to serve on the United States Election Assistance Commission (EAC) Board of Advisors. Established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA), the EAC Board of Advisors is comprised of 37 individuals who will assist the EAC in carrying out its federally mandated duties, which include the following:

  • Developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements
  • Adopting voluntary voting system guidelines
  • Serving as a national clearinghouse of information about election administration
  • Accrediting testing laboratories and certifying voting systems
  • Auditing the use of HAVA funds

Under HAVA, the house minority leader can select one professional from the field of science and technology to serve on the EAC Board of Advisors. A professor of statistics and associate dean of mathematical and physical sciences at UC Berkeley, Stark is considered the originator of “risk-limiting” audits and has worked with California and Colorado secretaries of state, helping to conduct risk-limiting audits in nearly 20 counties. He testified about election integrity before the California legislature and at trial in a contested election. He also sits on the development team for the Travis County, Texas, STAR-Vote system, which combines auditability with end-to-end cryptographic verifiability.

In a recent ASA news release addressing challenges and concerns in today’s election cycle, Stark notes, “Claims of election fraud have long been part of our nation’s history, and so it’s possible that some may occur in present day. Paperless voting technology, which cannot be audited or recounted meaningfully, is used in 25% of the country. Most jurisdictions that do have paper records, however, do not check the results against the paper trail adequately, if at all. We need better methods to ensure the integrity of elections.”