Ms. Hillary Hall
Boulder County Clerk & Recorder
RE: Colorado Open Records Act request dated July 1, 2008
Dear Ms. Hall:
At a meeting today with Elections Coordinator, Carlos Webb, materials produced in response to our Colorado Open Records Act request were reviewed.
The following summarizes: our request, the data provided by staff, and our assessment of the data.
REQUEST: We wish to review the Scanned Ballot Image Files created during the 2008 Primary Election Logic and Accuracy Test.
A non-responsive July 7th letter from Assistant County Attorney, Shelley Bailey, responded, “These records do not exist, therefore, we are unable to fulfill your request at this time.”
Even if it were true that the records did not exist on July 7th, did the records not exist on July 3rd at about 10:00 AM when a set of reports was produced in response to our Open Records request?
At what time, and under whose authority were these election records destroyed?
Are these election records not preserved in the BOSS database, or other database that is backed up as a permanent record of the Logic and Accuracy Test?
Election Rule 220.127.116.11.7 requires that all election data shall be exportable on-demand by authorized users. What is the explanation for the destruction of these particular election records?
18.104.22.168.7 The voting system application shall provide authorized users with the capability to produce electronic files including election results in either ASCII (both comma-delimited and fixed-width) or webbased format that shall contain (a) all data or (b) any user selected data elements from the database. The software shall provide authorized users with the ability to generate these files on an “on-demand” basis. After creating such files, the authorized users shall, at their discretion, have the capability to copy the files to diskette, tape, or CD-ROM or to transmit the files to another information system.
If any, what other election records were destroyed?
ACTION: Please reply to the above questions, and please reconsider the County’s July 7th response to our request for scanned ballot image files.
REQUEST: We wish to review the Ballot Now Log Files created during the 2008 Primary Election Logic and Accuracy Test.
Due to a nomenclature problem, rather than the BallotNow Log files, staff produced, in response to our open records request, the following non-responsive reports, one set for each of the 8 BallotNow computer systems, dated July 3, 2008 approximately 10:00 AM:
· Election Report - Official
· Election MBBs – Official
· Resolve Status Report – Official
· Scan Batch Summary – Official
· Scanned Ballots by Batch – Official (multiple pages)
We discussed what we are looking for with Patty Stahl and she asked that we resubmit the request using the title “BallotNow System Audit Log”. We have attached this request.
We also asked if there is a copy of the specifications for the system or a detailed list of system objects that we can review, so that we can be better informed of the correct identifiers for system objects.
We remain concerned that the identifier “BallotNow System Audit Log” may not include all of the log data we seek. If it does not, by way of explanation, we want to review all log data. This would include system administration tasks, the state of and state-changes of application and system switches, the trusted build hash value (MD5 or SHA-1) of the firmware or software, the engineering level of the equipment, the details of vote interpretation for individual ballots, Cast Vote Record creation and revision, MBB creation and revision, etc. In other words, all logs.
ACTION: Please provide a list of all system objects so that we can use the proper identifiers. Please respond to the attached resubmission for BallotNow log files.
REQUEST: We wish to review the Cast Vote Record Files (Ballot Now and eSlate/JBC) created during the 2008 Primary Election Logic and Accuracy Test.
Due to a nomenclature problem, rather than the Cast Vote Record files (BallotNow and eSlate/JBC), staff produced, in response to our open records request, the following non-responsive reports”:
· JBC Connectivity
· Devices Backed Up
· 4 JBC Paper Tape Summaries
We agreed to produce for Carlos a sample of a printout of a Cast Vote Record, which is attached. The attached sample comes from an eSlate/JBC device.
ACTION: Please respond to our original request for eSlate/JBC Cast Vote Record files, and BallotNow Cast vote Record files.
REQUEST: We wish to review the TALLY Results Files created during the 2008 Primary Election Logic and Accuracy Test.
The partially responsive materials presented were:
· Unofficial County-wide Summary by Contest (9 pages)
· MBBs Read report (17 MBBs) (1 page)
· Precinct Turnout report (7 pages)
· Canvass Report (142 pages)
We identified what we consider to be several problems with the materials presented:
· The Canvass Report does not include precinct/contest OVER-UNDER votes.
· The reports show that the voter file data used for the LAT was not real voter data. The integration of the NEW SCORE voter data into the system was therefore not tested.
ACTION: Please confirm that the NEW SCORE voter database was not integrated into the system for the LAT. Please confirm that the County has performed no Acceptance Test which would have integrated all of the components of the elections system.
REQUEST: We wish to review the TALLY Log Files created during the 2008 Primary Election Logic and Accuracy Test.
There was a misunderstanding of our request. We will assume that the same nomenclature used for the BallotNow request, above, applies to the TALLY log files.
ACTION: Please respond to the attached resubmission request for TALLY log files.
REQUEST: We wish to review the (1) the detailed procedures and instructions that were used to plan, manage, and conduct the test, (2) any observations regarding the test, and (3) any test reports from the 2008 Primary Election Logic and Accuracy Test.
The partially responsive materials presented were:
- Temporary Badge Log
- Guidelines for Observers
- LAT Procedure (3 pages)
- LAT Agenda and Procedures (4 pages)
- C.R.S. 1-7-509
C.R.S. 1-7-509(2)(e) The testing board or its representative shall sign a written statement indicating the devices tested, the results of the testing, the protective counter numbers of each device, if applicable, the number of the seal attached to each device upon completion of the testing, any problems reported to the designated election official as a result of the testing, and whether each device tested is satisfactory or unsatisfactory.During discussion, Carlos told us that a ballot was missing printing on one side of the ballot. He did not produce a copy of that ballot for us to inspect.
We asked if this problem was detected by any pre-scanning inspection. Carlos told us that it was not. He further told us that there was no pre-scanning inspection.
In a separate meeting, Republican LAT representative, Amy Barnes Fry, reported to Neal and me that there was an additional printing problem. This problem was not disclosed in response to our open records request and not disclosed orally by Mr. Webb. This problem was a misprinting of the vote capture box such that the box itself was detected as a vote. This is a case of the “spurious mark” problem that has troubled the HART system.
Problems, such as the problems with the misprinted ballot, were hidden from our review. We believe that this should have been disclosed in response to our open records request.
ACTION: The HART Central Scanner has known quality problems, and was only conditionally certified. One of the conditions for use is related to pre-scanning inspection.
If it is correct that the LAT was performed without a pre-scanning inspection, the equipment was used in a non-certified manner. The Secretary of State must be immediately notified that the mitigation for the HART “spurious mark” problem did not work, and must be replaced by a procedure that does work.
We wish the County to report this non-compliance to the Secretary of State, and consider re-running the LAT using pre-scanning inspectors, emphasizing tests that will stress the ability of the inspectors to intercept spurious marks.
In all of the responses to our requests for “files”, paper was produced. We requested “files” – computer files. It is nearly impossible to analyze a large election on paper.
ACTION: Please respond to our request for files with computer files.
Staff required test developers to write the correct test “answer” on each ballot. This “open book” approach to testing eliminates the possibility that the voter’s intent can be ambiguous, and is therefore not a realistic test. Testing ambiguous voter intent can be especially important to verifying that duplication board and resolution board activities are functioning properly.
ACTION: Conceal the “answers” from those operating the system by recording them on the test plan (expected results) document rather than on the actual ballot.
Election Rule 45.11 requires that a new or modified voting system must undergo acceptance testing before it may be used to cast or count votes in any election. Since the LAT did not include use of the NEW SCORE data, the LAT was reliant on the results of an earlier acceptance test. We expect that the acceptance test will verify all system functions, including but not limited to:
- The accuracy and adequacy of all reports.
- The voting system’s ability to perform the recount procedure.
- The voting system’s ability to perform the post-election audit procedure.
- The voting system’s ability to perform the Canvass procedure.
45.11 Acceptance Testing by Jurisdictions
45.11.1 Whenever an
election jurisdiction acquires a new system or modification of an existing
system certified by the Secretary of State, the election jurisdiction shall
perform acceptance tests of the system before it may be used to cast or count
votes at any election. The voting system shall be operating correctly, pass all
tests as directed by the acquiring jurisdiction’s project manager or contract
negotiator, and shall be identical to the voting system certified by the
Secretary of State.
45.11.2 The voting system provider shall
provide all manuals and training necessary for the proper operation of the
system to the jurisdiction, or as indicated by their
45.11.3 The election jurisdiction shall perform a series
of functional and programming tests that shall test all functions of the voting
system at their discretion.
45.11.4 The jurisdiction shall
coordinate acceptance testing with the Secretary of State’s designated agent and
complete a Jurisdiction Acceptance Test form provided by the Secretary of State.
ACTION: If acceptance tests of the entire voting system were performed, we wish to review the test plans and the test results. If the acceptance tests were not performed, we wish to know how Boulder County’s election system will be brought into compliance with Rule 45.11 before it is used to cast or count votes for the Primary Election.
Colorado Voter Group
Enclosed: Three open records requests.