Technological Audits of Optical Scan Voting Systems: Summary for 2007 to 2010 Connecticut Elections

Posted: October 20th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Audit Reports, Post Election, Pre Election | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Security and integrity concerns regarding the use of electronic voting technologies in elections necessitate comprehensive election audits. Two types of audits are routinely performed in all state-wide elections in Connecticut: random post-election hand-counted audits and technological audits. This report presents the summary of the technological audit results in Connecticut from 2007 to 2010. The technological audits were designed on the request of the Secretary of the State (SOTS) of Connecticut by VoTeR Center and are conducted by the Center before (pre-election) and after (post-election) each state-wide election and selected primaries. The technological audits focus on the information contained on the memory cards used with the AccuVote Optical Scan (AV-OS) tabulators. This report presents the cumulative results of the pre-election and post-election technological audits. The audits examine the correctness of the programming of the memory cards with respect to the specific elections and the usage patterns at the districts in light of the election procedures established by the SOTS Office. The audits also assess the reliability of the memory cards. The conclusions are that districts do not always adhere to the established pre-election procedures. Most notably, in recent elections over 6% of the memory cards are duplicated by the districts, a practice that is not permitted by the SOTS Office; additionally, the number of cards submitted for audits has been substantially lower since 2008. The audits also established that more than 10% of the memory cards may experience data loss between the time they are programmed and the day of the election; this is apparently the reason for card duplication done by the districts. This data loss is most likely caused by the weak batteries on the cards (however, as of this writing it is not clear how long a fresh battery lasts in a memory card as some cards are known to consume substantially more power than others). To provide a better statistical basis for the overall elections landscape in Connecticut, it is recommended that the number of cards examined by the audits is substantially increased.
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Statistical Analysis of the Post Election Audit Data 2007 November Elections

Posted: January 31st, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Statistical Analysis | Tags: , , , , ,

The Center for Voting Technology Research (VoTeR Center) at the School of Engineering of the University of Connecticut received the data gathered in the post-election audit performed in the State of Connecticut following the November 2007 election. The audits of the randomly selected 10% of the districts were conducted in November and December of 2007, and the returns were conveyed by the Office of the Secretary of the State to the VoTeR Center on January 8, 2008. The audit data received by the Center contains 958 records, where each record represents information about a specific candidate. Specifically, each record contains the following significant information: date, district, machine seal number, office, candidate, machine counted total, undisputed hand counted total, questionable hand counted total, overall hand counted total, that is, the sum of undisputed and questionable ballots. This report contains several statistical analyses of the audit returns and recommendations. Among the 958 records received by the Center, 175 records (18.3%) were incomplete, unusable, or obviously incorrect. Another 111 records (11.6%) contained usable, but incomplete data, or minor arithmetic errors. Thus about 70% of the audit records were complete and contained no obvious errors. While some problematic records were clearly due to human error (e.g., in addition), this suggests that auditors found the audit instructions to be ambiguous or insufficiently specific. Read the rest of this entry »


Partial Post-Election Audit of Memory Cards for the November 2007 Connecticut Elections

Posted: January 28th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Post Election | Tags: , , , ,

The Center for Voting Technology Research (VoTeR Center) at the School of Engineering of the University of Connecticut performed a partial post-election audit of the memory cards for the AccuVote Optical Scan tabulators that were to be used in the November 2007 Connecticut Elections. The cards were programmed by LHS Associates of Methuen, Massachusetts, and shipped to the towns in Connecticut. The research and development required to perform the audit and the methodology and procedures used to conduct the audit are essentially identical to what was used to perform the pre-election memory card audit, and we refer the reader to our earlier report to avoid a complete restatement. Read the rest of this entry »


Pre-Election Audit of Memory Cards for the November 2007 Connecticut Elections

Posted: January 26th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Pre Election | Tags: , , , ,

The Center for Voting Technology Research (VoTeR Center) at the School of Engineering of the University of Connecticut performed an audit of the pre-election memory cards for the AccuVote Optical Scan tabulators that were to be used in the November 2007 Connecticut Elections. The cards were programmed by LHS Associates of Methuen, Massachusetts, and shipped to the towns in Connecticut. The towns were instructed to test the cards and to choose randomly one out of each four cards per district to be shipped for the audit.

The total of 522 cards were received and tested by the VoTeR Center, out of which 378 cards were received before the election. Out of the total number of cards, 18 cards, or 3.5% were found to contain “junk” data, that is, they were unreadable, which is easily detected by the tabulators as such, and could not have been used in the election. The rest of the cards, or 96.6%, were found to have been properly programmed for election. 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.
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