New Mexico 2022 Election Audit

Erik P. DeBenedictis, February 10, 2024
(updated April 26, 2024; see bottom of page)

This directory contains my analysis of the 2022 New Mexico election audit.


This page contains an analysis of the 2022 New Mexico general election audit. According to New Mexico law, this election audit was supposed to select precincts by random dice roll. If implemented correctly, a nefarious actor would not know in advance which precincts would be audited versus not audited and would not know which precincts were safe (or safer) to manipulate. However, analysis of the audit report on the state's website showed significant non-randomness. The report linked below shows that about the middle 40% of the precincts of the largest county (Bernalillo) would not be selected by any dice roll. The issue affected many other counties to a lesser extent.

Summary of Analysis

The red dots in the chart below show the Bernalillo County (New Mexico) precincts that should have been selected based on the raw dice rolls recorded in the auditor's report. The precincts were selected by the author's reconstruction of the dice roll post processing. The 157 dice rolls for Bernalillo County are sorted in the order of precincts in the county's precinct list before plotting — so each dot is to the right of the previous dot by an equal horizontal distance. The dots are vertically positioned by the line number in the county's precinct list. The red dots form an irregular upward-sloping line — with the irregularities due to the randomness of dice rolls. The reader will see the largest vertical jumps skip over about 20 precincts.

However, the green dots are the precinct selections from the audit report. The reader will see a vertical jump with no selections between precincts in positions 232 to 520. According to the theory of election audits, a nefarious actor could know in advance that precincts in this range would never be selected for audit, allowing the nefarious actor to focus improper activities in these precincts. This would defeat the value of the audit in assuring the integrity of the election results.

The linked report provides details, such as: Dice rolls were recorded and appear random, with the non-randomness first appearing in the output of software that converts random numbers into precincts. The nature of the jump in the diagram is representative of a known class of software errors. This type of error can be caused by an accident, such as dropping a coffee cup on the keyboard of a computer running Excel, entering random keystrokes that change the spreadsheet. More alarmingly, though, this type of error has been studied enough (including in the linked spreadsheet) that this type of "accident" can be engineered to create a desired effect. The report is technical in nature and does not imply that was any election tampering.


Report dated February 10, 2024
Spreadsheet dated February 5, 2024
Alternate base page

Update April 26, 2024

The material above led to a series of public records requests for the actual spreadsheet from the New Mexico Secretary of State's office, which turned up two days ago. The public records requests were supported by the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, which issued the press release SECRETARY OF STATE OFFICE RELEASES AUDIT. The spreadsheet notably reproduced the repeated selection of PCT 307 due to an unsorted argument to MATCH (pretty much as stated in the report). As of the time of this note (April 26, 2024, 7 AM), the New Mexico website has the original audit report online.

This page dated April 26, 2024.