Re: Left off the ballot?

From: Steve Chessin <steve_dot_chessin_at_sun_dot_com>
Date: Thu Apr 15 2004 - 18:16:29 CDT

I witnessed the parallel monitoring (as it was called here) that was
performed in Santa Clara County as part of the Secretary of State's
mandated parallel monitoring program.

They tested two machines on election day (March 2nd, 2004). There were
two testers and a videographer for each machine. The screens were
videotaped continuously. Each pair of testers had a script book
(looseleaf binder) and a clock. At the time indicated by the script
page, the page was removed from the book, held up in front of the
screen so that the video camera could capture it, a voter card
activated according to the script (it was a primary election, so the
scripted party had to be selected) and inserted into the machine, the
script voted (one tester touching the screen and the other tester
observing), the vote cast, and the page returned to the book.

They did this in I think 18 counties, so that each type of DRE in use
was covered at least once. I'm still waiting for the official report
to be released (it was supposed to be released March 30th). I heard
that when they compared each machine's totals to the scripted results,
there were four discrepencies. All were apparently resolved by
reviewing the videotapes, where data entry mistakes were discovered.
(Even with one person watching another enter the data, mistakes
can happen.)

--Steve (Santa Clara County, California)

>From Thu Apr 15 14:30:59 2004
>Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 14:30:49 -0700 (PDT)
>From: David Jefferson <>
>Subject: Re: [voting-project] Left off the ballot?
>Excellent idea. This changes my view of parallel testing, which
>heretofore I had thought of as primarily a stopgap measure to be
>dispensed with when VVPAT becomes available. But these new
>ballot misrpresentation hacks make it clear, now that you
>mention it, that parallel testing must be a permanent feature of
>electronic voting, and that the parallel testers must check not
>just that votes are recorded as cast by the fake voters, but
>that the ballots are rendered on the screen completely and
>> Neat. All of these hacks that involve mis-presentation of the
>> ballot are best tested for using parallel testing, pulling
>> randomly selected machines from the polling places as the
>> polls
>> are opened and spending the day asking real voters to help
>> test
>> those machines by voting test ballots on them. At the close
>> of
>> polls, those test machines are closed just like the others,
>> but
>> their vote records are kept carefully segregated -- they're
>> not
>> real votes, but they're part of the audit record of the
>> election.
>> Voters voting test ballots on these machines have no privacy,
>> so
>> these machines are tested without a booth, and with auditors
>> observing the selections made so they can be compared with the
>> vote records printed.
>> Doug Jones
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:08 2004

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