City of Kalamazoo to Conduct Risk-Limiting Audit Pilot on Wednesday, December 5

On Wednesday, December 5, the City of Kalamazoo will conduct a pilot of a Risk-Limiting Audit, a state-of-the-art post-election audit that provides a check on the reported election results. A relatively new election security measure, a Risk-Limiting Audit is designed to detect irregularities that could influence reported election outcomes, including intentional cyberattacks and unintentional machine or human errors.

“Our goal as election administrators is to foster confidence in the electoral process, the results of that process, and ultimately our democratic institutions,” said Kalamazoo City Clerk Scott Borling.  “Michigan voters put their faith in us to conduct free and fair elections. The Risk-Limiting Audit provides another tool and opportunity to demonstrate their trust is well placed.”

This pilot is one of three to be conducted the first week of December and part of the first multi-jurisdictional risk-limiting audit pilot in the country. Lansing and Rochester Hills will also pilot the procedure during the first week of December. For this project the Michigan Bureau of Elections and the municipal clerks partnered with a team of experts, including Ron Rivest and Mayuri Sridhar of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Jerome Lovato of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), Philip Stark and Kellie Ottoboni of the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University (NYU) School of Law, Verified Voting, and Indiana’s Voting System Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP).

Michigan’s election system already incorporates many election security measures recommended by national security and cybersecurity experts, including paper ballots and mandatory pre-election testing of all voting equipment. Risk-Limiting Audits may complement the existing procedures, and this pilot will assist election officials to determine whether they can work efficiently and effectively in Michigan.

The event will be held from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Kalamazoo City Hall, 241 W. South Street, Kalamazoo, MI and is open to the public. 

For additional information about risk-limiting audits, see “A Smart and Effective Way to Safeguard Elections” and “A Gentle Introduction to Risk-Limiting Audits.”

Leaf Collection Update

Leaf collection for residents of the City of Kalamazoo is currently running behind schedule as City staff have been reassigned to assist with snow removal for the second winter storm this November.

Snow removal crews have been instructed to plow around leaf piles whenever possible while maintaining safe operations and clear streets. Following the snow event, staff will return their focus to leaf collection. A map showing leaf collection areas, the original schedule, and program updates can be found at www.kalamazoocity.org/leaves.

“We know that delays with leaf collection can be frustrating. We are committed to continuing the program through December as conditions allow,” said James Baker, the City of Kalamazoo’s Public Services Director. “We have our staff working extended hours and are considering other options to get the program caught up.

When possible, residents are encouraged to place their leaves out in accordance with the original schedule to ensure that no pickups are missed as crews get caught up.

The City’s leaf collection program is typically scheduled from late October through mid-December to allow time for leaves to fall and be collected before winter weather sets in. The program is heavily dependent on the weather- early winter storms make leaves more difficult and time consuming to collect and require staff to be reassigned to assist with snow removal.

“Early winter storms like we have seen this year make leaf collection challenging,” explained Director Baker. “We appreciate your patience as our staff work to get caught up.”

More information about leaf collection is available at www.kalamazoocity.org/leaves and more information about snow removal is available at www.kalamazoocity.org/snow.

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

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 (269) 337-8047
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 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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