Pre-Election Audit of Memory Cards for the August 10, 2010 Primary Elections

The Center for Voting Technology Research (VoTeR Center) at the School of Engineering of the University of Connecticut performed a pre-election audit of the memory cards for the Accu-Vote Optical Scan tabulators that were to be used in the August 10, 2010 elections. The cards were programmed by LHS Associates of Methuen, Massachusetts, and shipped to Connecticut districts for use in the elections. The VoTeR Center received in total 226 memory cards from 218 districts for this audit. The cards were received during the period from August 6, 2010 to August 17, 2010. This document reports on the findings obtained during the audit. Among these 226 cards, 192 (85%) were correctly programmed for elections. These cards contained valid ballot data and the executable code on these cards was the expected code, with no extraneous data or code on the cards. Concerning the remaining cards, 34 (15% of the total number of cards) were found to be unusable by the AV-OS. In particular, these cards contained ‘junk’ (i.e., apparently random) data. These cards were unreadable, according to the tabulators and could not have been used in an election. (We report on the causes of such card failures separately) Among the usable cards, 16 (7% of the total number of cards) were involved in card duplication; this is not permitted according to the SOTS rules. There are 45 cards that, although not presenting an immediate security concern, had audit log entries showing unexpected procedural event sequences. We note that the adherence to the election procedures by the districts is improving, however the analysis indicates that the established procedures are not always followed; it would be helpful if reasons for these extra-procedural actions were documented and communicated to the SOTS Office in future elections. The audit was performed at the request of the Office of the Secretary of the State.

Full report: vc-pre-2010-august11

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