San Diego County Canvass Procedure Preliminary Analysis


The following description has been replaced by the report of 2010-02-11: COPs Rov Report

Logic Testing Procedures

The logic testing procedures are limited to testing the ballot scanners to confirm that each type of ballot and each race are correctly tallied. This is not a stress test or a quality assurance test but a procedure to verify that the scanners will count the correct candidate or issue on each of the many ballot types. These testing procedures do not test any human elements, such as procedures in the polling place or within the walls of the Ro V apart from the scanning process.

Precinct Vote Canvass Procedure

Step Name Description Records Comments / Questions
Ballot Distribution Number of ballots supplied is determined using "Ballot Order Spreadsheet". Counted by Poll workers, noting sequence number issues. Ballot Order Procedure describes how the number of ballots is determined. Blank ballots are distributed to precincts based on the number of all registered voters in that precinct, including permanent vote-by-mail voters. Each ballot costs $0.28 and are supplied in groups of 50. This occurs during SPUW -- Supply-Pickup Weeked.

Ballots are distributed to Precinct Inspectors with a two-part Ballot Inventory sheet which indicates the precinct number, the sequence number for that precinct, and the quantity of ballots sent to that precinct, by language version. The Precinct Inspector is instructed to count the ballots, verify the quantities listed, sign and date the document, send the white copy to the Registrar of Voters office, and retain the yellow copy.

Ballot Order Procedure
Ballot Inventory sheet
(C00017-2.1{{ C00017-2.1 - }} )
No precincts ran out of ballots on Election Day.
Voter Sign-in Rosters Provided to Poll Workers Voter Sign-in Roster printed and provided to each polling place during SPUW. If Vote-By-Mail (VBM) ballot has been received and processed, then voter is included on the list with "M" by the name Sign-in Roster; Chain-of-Custody Document
2.5% of the Street Indexes and 5% the Ballot Statements were scanned. Ro V would not allow us to scan the Ballot Statements directly as they were signed by precinct volunteers.
Issue 1: Ballot Statements should be available in their entirety for scanning and duplication, even posting to a web site.
Voter signs-in Poll worker validates voter (matches name, address) and voter signs the roster. Sign-in Roster Signature is not validated or ever reviewed. We were prevented from scanning the sign-in sheets, but we reviews about half of the 5% sample and counted the signatures.
A. Voter receives normal ballot. Ballots may differ based on party, language. No records changed as ballot is supplied when voter signs roster. Total ballot count not maintained at this point, but since voter signs in, it is known that they received a ballot.
B. Provisional Ballot Provided Voter not found on Sign-In Rosters, or is found but "M" is by the name. Provisional ballots must be processed like VBM ballots (identity of voter must be maintained) but peach envelope is used. The provisional voter signs a separate peach provisional page of the roster. Peach sign-in roster pages (C00017-3.1) We notice that frequently, poll workers apparently allow the provisional voter to sign the white, pink, or blue rosters instead of the peach roster. This apparently occurs when a VBM voter signs over their name in the roster.
Voter votes, returns ballot Voter votes and deposits ballot into Ballot Box. The Ballot Boxes are typically cardboard boxes that have a slot so voters can insert their own ballot into the box.   Running count is not maintained. Therefore, if a voter gets a ballot but never returns it, the sign-in roster will not match number of ballots in the box.

(C00017-4.2) Do poll workers make any notes if they notice that a voter leaves the voting area with the ballot?
A: Sometimes they make notes in the rosters. (no additional reports are generated).

Poll Shutdown At end of election day, poll workers prepare the Ballot Statement{{This is not the same as the "Ballot Statement" prepared by candidates that is included in the sample ballot.}} which is returned with the ballots in sealed Batch Boxes{{Batch Boxes are white cardboard boxes that each hold about 750 ballots and can easily be sealed.}}. Poll workers are also supposed to separate out any ballots that include valid write-in candidates. The statement states how many voters signed in, how many ballots were received that were completed, blank, soiled, provisional, and mail-in. Ballot Statements Need to review the Ballot Statement form
How is tampering impossible? Would it be better to leave material in the ballot box and transport it directly to the Ro V office and disallow handling ballots in the precinct?

RoV declined to allow us to scan the Ballot Statements because poll worker signatures would be scanned as well and that would be an invasion of privacy, however, these were scanned by the Ro V by redacting the signatures.

(C00017-4.1) In how many precincts was the roster in disagreement with the number of ballots found in the box?
1,058 precincts. (Since there are 1634 precincts, this is about a 65% error rate. No further reports or action was done to resolve this high error rate.)

Collection Point Batch Boxes (white cartons containing voted ballots) are transported to the collection point by two Poll workers from each polling place. They also bring the DRE memory cards enclosed in sealed pouches and the canister of DRE tape. Collection Center Logs (C00017-5.1) Condition of seals recorded?
A: Yes. (However, review of the Collection Center Logs shows that seal condition is not recorded on the log forms. Ro V provided a separate report; Collection Center Seal Condition Report -- 6 cases of broken or wrong seals reported.
Ro V Reception Batch Boxes are transported from Collection Points to the Ro V office. When boxes are unloaded from the truck, a worker uses a barcode scanner to read the box identifier and induct the ballots into the secure environment.
Each Precinct inspector (PI) receives 12 blue security seals in their official ballot pouch to seal their ballot cartons after initial inventory, their touchscreen canister, and their ballot cartons when closing the poll.
The PI also receives 4 standard seals in their official ballot pouch to seal the ballot /supply box , after the first voter inspects it to ensure that it is empty.
In Addition, each collection center was issued five blue seals to be issued to any precinct inspectors returning unsealed ballot cartons

RoV said they keep track of the serialized seals used on the touchscreens as recorded on the seal verification logs. Currently they do not keep track of the used and returned unused tamper evident blue security seals from polls or collection centers.
(Separate report was provided)

Computer display of precincts delivered is updated. Tally Center Log Box seals are supposed to be checked at this point. 99 cases of broken or wrong seals for 6% error rate.

Ro V Incoming Inspection Ballot Boxes are received by Ro V Office. Inspect seals. Open boxes and inspect contents. No explicit counting of the ballots. Memory cards from DRE devices separated and placed into gray tubs. (The total number of DRE voters was about 750 in the Nov, 2008 election.) Provisional/Mail Ballots Separated and placed in Envelope Processing Queue. Workers look for write-ins and damaged ballots. Traveler created, consists of label on Batch Boxes. The Ro V does not count completed, blank, soiled, provisional, VBM ballots at this point to validate figures provided by poll workers on Ballot Statement.
Sign-In Roster Processed Sign-In roster must be imported into computer system to note that voter has voted at the precinct. Once Sign-In Registers are processed, VBM Envelope Processing Queue can be restarted. Street Rosters, Voter Data  
Group Precincts If multiple boxes of ballots from the same precinct are received, these are grouped together    
Locate Scanner Card A memory card must be located for each precinct/scanner. This card contains information regarding the location of bubbles on the ballots for the specific ballot used by that precinct. Placed inside one of the boxes. Marked on Traveler label? No.
Transport ballots and card to scanner Batch Boxes are loaded onto a cart and transported to a scanner station.    
Scan the Precinct A single worker scans all the ballots from a single precinct (may include multiple boxes.) First step is to Insert card, create zero tape.   Are jams logged? (Only on result tape.) Is it possible for worker to selectively skip some ballots based on the vote, and transfer the ballot to the collection tray? (Yes, confirmed by Ro V 2008-11-25)
Print Result Tape At the end of scanning the entire precinct, the results tape is printed. Operator signs the tape. Scanner I.D. is included on the tape. Only one results tape is printed. See Scanner Tape Review. Results tape Does anyone read this tape? (No, confirmed by Ro V 2008-11-25) Is ballot count compared with incoming count? (No, confirmed by Ro V 2008-11-25)

  • Several tapes were impossible to read some races because the tape did not feed as the dot-matrix continued to print. Worker should inspect the tape and verify that it is all readable. It not, a second tape should be printed.
  • Worker should compare number of ballots received and number on the tape. If there is a difference, immediately re-scan the precinct.
  • Tape should be occasionally with results from memory card.
Remove Memory Card Operator removes the memory card from the scanner and gives it to another worker who transports it to central tabulator room. Note: Only one worker has custody at this point. No records updated  
Box Ballots, Results tape After scanning, ballots are returned into the batch boxes and the results tape is inserted in envelope with other items from this precinct. No seals are applied.   Envelope is available for review and is where we accessed the scanner tapes.
Archive Boxed Ballots Boxed ballots are placed into secure storage area. No records kept. If people want to look over the ballots for some reason, they are inducted into the secure area and then they have full access to all ballots. Should probably have two-tier security system, a storage area with records kept regarding each access to any precinct ballots, and a processing area where ballots can be reviewed in a secure environment, and then rechecked into the storage area at the end.
Read Memory Card Memory card, now inside the central tabulator room, is read and votes from that scanner are added to the total. Audit file updated.{{Audit file does not contain extensive information about the data actually transferred to the system.}} No spot checks for totals at this point with Scanner Tape (Confirmed by Ro V 2008-11-25) Are total number of ballots checked? - NO (confirmed by Ro V 2008-11-25)
Archive Memory Card Memory card for that precinct is refiled into boxes in the order of precinct number to they can be reviewed at a later date.   Erased and reused at the next election.


Vote-By-Mail Canvass Procedure

The following information was generated based on conversations with Ro V officials.

Step Name Description Records Comments / Questions
Mail ballots to voters Ballots are mailed to voters 29 days prior to the last day of the election. Data file records outgoing ballot to each voter.  
Normal return Ballot completed by voter, inserted in envelope, and mailed to the Ro V. Envelope is placed in Envelope Processing Queue. ? Are the ballots counted prior to processing? (such as by using a counting scale)
Envelopes are scanned into our election management system, the receipt of the mail ballot is recorded, and a daily report is issued. This creates an opportunity for voters to validate the receipt of their ballot, via our website or by telephone. If the voter drops off their voted mail ballot at the polls, the ballot is delivered to the ROV office and processed in the same fashion as mail ballots received prior to the election.
Spoiled Return Voter checks "spoiled" box and returns ballot to Ro V. A new ballot is issued to the Voter. Are records kept? (Probably should record all soiled ballots returned so it is possible to determine fraudulent soiling.) The voter can return the ballot by mail by checking the “spoiled” box (as noted above), or the voter can call to report the spoilage. We do not signature check spoiled ballots. In either event, the first ballot is suspended and a second is issued. If the spoiled ballot is called in, the outgoing replacement ballot is stamped “2nd”. The voter must return a declaration with the ballot saying they did not vote twice. They are kept for the legally required retention period.
Bad Address Return Ballot is returned to Ro V by USPS due to change of address, wrong or bad address. What records are updated? After the election, these "undeliverables " are processed by sending another mailing to the voter. The creation of this mailer results in a notation to the voter's record on our election management system.
Bad Address Retry If forwarding address is provided by USPS, Ro V will resend the ballot   If a forwarding address is supplied, will the Ro V resend the ballot if sufficient time exists prior to the deadline if the voter's new address is within the same home precinct.
Personal Delivery Return Ballot completed by voter, inserted in envelope, and delivered to the Ro V or poll locations. Envelope is placed in Envelope Processing Queue.   Envelopes are scanned into our election management system, the receipt of the mail ballot is recorded, and a daily report is issued. This creates an opportunity for voters to validate the receipt of their ballot, via our website or by telephone. Voter rosters are marked with an "M" to indicate the voter has applied for a mail ballot. Any mail ballot voter who appears at a precinct to vote and does not have the ballot to surrender votes a provisional ballot.
Envelope Processing Queue After receiving envelopes from USPS, personal delivery, or from poll locations, envelopes are entered into the processing queue. Queue is stopped on election day and until the Sign-In Registers are processed to avoid duplicate voting. The record was updated when the ballot envelope was scanned. The envelopes are sorted by precinct prior to the removal of the ballot.
Signature Verification Envelope is removed from the Envelope Processing Queue and inspected. Signature is compared with signature from Registration Form. Voter Data is also checked to see that voter has not already voted at the precinct. Voter Record There is a three-level review for non-matching signatures: the operator, a four person board, and a division manager. Records are updated if there is a challenge.
Signature Verification Success Voter record is updated that ballot as been received. This is akin to the sign-in sheets used in the case of poll-location voting. Ballot is removed from envelope and placed in batch box. Voter Record. Batch box count? Is the count of ballots updated as the ballots are placed in the batch box? Are ballots presorted by precinct as they are added to batch boxes?
Signature Verification Failure Voter record is updated that signature fails? Voter Record? The voter receives a letter and a new voter registration card.
Batch Box Processing Filled batch box is transported to any one of 15 scanner stations for processing. Not sure if batches of vote-by-mail ballots are scanned by a single scanner, or separated by precinct first. Traveler? Is count of ballots in batch box recounted, such as by counting scale?
Scan the Batch A single worker scans all the ballots from batch box.   Ballots are sorted to precinct within small batches. When ballots are scanned they may be or may not be in precinct order. GEMS Central Count option is used, no zero tape is created and no report tape is created. There is no comparison of ballot count with the count of ballots submitted. However the scanner operator pre-counts the ballots as they run them. During counting they post the count as they go through the scanner. Example: Count 10 ballots, run these through the scanner and z1 the end 10 ballots will display on the scanner display, count another 10 and scan these and the display will indicated 20 ballot scanned, etc.
Rebox & Archive Ballots After scanning, the ballots are placed into storage boxes.   Ballots are archived in their original boxes, mixed precincts into secure storage area.


1% Manual Tally Procedure

The following information was generated based on the Feb. 5, 2008 review and video of the process created by Raymond Lutz, as well as further conversations with Ro V officials. The procedure document is here: One-Percent Manual Tally Procedure

The 1% Manual Tally is intended to validate the machine counting process. As a result, it is inappropriate to re-process ballots using machine counting procedures except to validate a hypothesis that the machine counting procedure has been compromised.

Step Name Description Records Comments / Questions
Select Precincts Precincts are selected by randomized method. 1% of the precincts are selected and additional precincts added to cover other races.   The Registrar must choose at least one precinct for each race that is not included in the original sample.
Pull batch boxes for the precinct Worker (who?) pulls precinct boxes from storage and pulls VBM batch boxes for that precinct and transports them to Tally Room. Which records are updated? Worker who pulls these ballots should not be the same one who produces computer report.
Create computer report Worker (who?) creates computer report for use in comparison Computer report Is computer report pulled at the start of the Tally Procedure?
Tally Votes Workers work in three-person teams to tally all races for those precincts. Tally Sheets  
Compare Tally result with Computer Report Comparison is on a precinct-by-precinct and race-by-race basis. Manual Tally Report Manual Tally Report should provide a separate report for each precinct and each race, not just the number of total ballots and total votes. Many counties produce separate reports for VBM ballots and Precinct ballots. Are Scanner Tapes compared? Are memory cards compared?


Reconciliation Procedure

Frequently in discussions with Ro V staff, we are told that a reconciliation process is performed.

Step Name Description Records Comments / Questions
(Need additional information regarding this procedure.)
Topic revision: r1 - 11 Feb 2010, RaymondLutz
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