By Pamela Bacon
TESTING- TESTING AND MORE TESTING
Do you know that the Clerk and Recorders of Colorado have some pretty extensive election testing before each election?
The designated election official must securely store election setup records. Only persons with the Clerk’s written authorization may access records. The County Clerk must deputize employees which are authorized to prepare or maintain voting system or election setup records before each election. In accordance with C.R.S 24-72-305.6 all permanent and temporary County Clerk staff who have access must pass a criminal background check. A person convicted of an election offense or an offense containing an element of fraud may not have access to code, combination, password, or encryption key for the voting equipment, ballot storage area, counting room, or tabulation workstations.
- Rule 11 County Clerk must perform a hardware diagnostic test and a logic and accuracy test before each election on each device that will be used in the election, including spare or back up devices and must include the following:
- all input and output devices, communication ports; system printers; system screen displays; boot performance and initializations, display of firmware or software hash value (MD5 or SHA-1) when possible; confirmation that screen displays are functioning, date, time and calibration of systems, scanner calibration. The election official must seal each device upon successful completion of the test and retain documentation of the seal information.
- Logan County Clerk’s Office conducts an office test and a public test. 11.3.2 The County Clerk must conduct a public Logic and Accuracy Test. The County Clerk must prepare a test deck of ballots that includes every ballot style and, where applicable, precinct. The county test deck must include a sufficient number of test ballots to mark every vote position for every contest, allow for situations where a contest permits an elector to vote for two or more positions, and include overvotes and undervotes for each contest. The county test deck must include ballots printed from a ballot-on-demand printer and must include commercially vendor printed ballots.
- The County Clerk must convene a Testing Board of one registered elector from each of the major political parties. Testing board members must be registered to vote in the county and be sworn in as election judges. The County Clerk must provide at least 25 ballots that are clearly marked as test ballots to each testing board members. Testing members must mark their test ballots following the instructions printed on the ballots and retain a record of their tally. The testing board members must test the ballots on each type of device used in the election and each type of ballot including audio ballots.
- The County Clerk and testing board must observe the tabulation of all test ballots, compare the tabulation with the previously retained records of the test vote count.
- The County Clerk must reset the public counter to zero on all devices and present zero tapes to the testing board for verification.
- Testing materials when not in use are kept in a durable secure box, each member of the Testing Board must verify seals and initial the chain of custody log maintained by the County Clerk.
- The County Clerk must backup and preserve the election database or project containing test results, and export and preserve the test results and cast vote record files. The County Clerk must prepare and preserve a ballot manifest corresponding to the test cast vote records.
- The County Clerk must upload the test results files to the Secretary of State’s Office and conduct testing of the Election Night Reporting during testing period using the public testing results.
- The County Clerk must hash and upload the cast vote records and ballot manifest to the Risk Limiting Audit software using the public testing results during the practice period and test Risk Limiting Audit system.
- The testing board and the County Clerk must sign a written statement attesting to the qualification of each device successfully tested, the number of the seal attached to the voting device at the end of the test, to provide a full and accurate account of the condition of a given device.
- The County Clerk may not change the programming of any voting device after completing the logic and accuracy test for an election.
- The designated election official must retain all testing records and documentation for 25 months.
- After the election the county must conduct a Risk Limiting Audit by uploading the cast vote records and ballot manifest (detailed listing by tabulator, batch, number ballots in the batch, and the storage container number ballots are stored) for the election to the Secretary of State’s Office to the Risk Limiting Audit software. The designated election official must appoint an audit board to conduct the risk-limiting audit which is at least one elector from each major party. The Secretary of State’s Office tells the County Clerk which ballots to audit and those audited ballots are compared to the cast vote record to determine accuracy of the election. The audit board must locate and retrieve, the selected ballot card from the appropriate storage container. The audit board must verify that the seals on the appropriate storage containers are those recorded on the applicable chain-of-custody logs. The audit board must interpret markings on the ballot cards selected for audit and must indicate that in the contest in the Risk Limiting Audit software. The Secretary of State will compare the audit board’s report of the audited ballots cards to the corresponding cast vote records until the risk limit for the target contest is met.
- The designated election official must report the results of the audit in writing to the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. on the last day to canvass. The audit results must contain:
- The make, model and serial number of the voting device audited
- The number of ballots originally counted on each device or the number ballots audited;
- The count of the specific contest on the summary report printed at the close of polls and report generated for audit;
- The count of the specific contests as manually verified;
- The signatures of the audit board, the canvass board members who observed the audit, and the designated election official.
Have election questions? Call us we will be happy to explain procedures, rules or laws.
The Election and Recording Department can be reached at 522-1544 for voter and election questions or recording information. The Motor Vehicle Department can be reached at 522-1158 for license plates/renewals or titling a vehicle. You can also reach our office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Like us on Facebook at Logan County Elections/MotorVehicle/Recording or Twitter @LoganClerkCO