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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

September 22, 2011

 

Contact: Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder

Phone: 650.363.4988 Fax: 650.363.1903 E-mail: mchurch@smcare.org

 

Alternate: David Tom, Deputy Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder
Phone: (650) 312-5222 E-mail: dtom@smcare.org

 

Voting Equipment's Logic & Accuracy Testing to Begin Monday September 26 for

November 8, 2011 Election

Public invited to observe critical process

 

 

Redwood City, CA – In preparation for San Mateo County's November 8, 2011 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election, the county's Elections Office will begin logic and accuracy testing of the eSlate voting system equipment at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, September 26 at the Elections Office at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo. The testing will be completed in approximately four days, according to Mark Church, Chief Elections Officer & Assessor-County Clerk-Recorder for San Mateo County.


Members of the public, representatives of the central committees of the county's political parties and other interested persons are encouraged to observe the testing process.


This testing process (known as "L & A") is performed before every election and is designed to ensure that the voting system's vote counting software is working properly so that the vote count will be accurate. For the L & A test, only some voting machines are configured as test units that are platforms for testing the operation of the vote counting software. In a separate testing process, every voting machine will be subjected to functional testing in which the elections staff confirm that the machine is loaded with the correct system software and firmware, as certified by the Secretary of State, and that every dial, button, connector, and other hardware components are operating properly.


"L & A testing is absolutely fundamental in the preparation of an election," explained Church. "The accuracy component of the test confirms that the voting selections made by the voter are correctly recorded, and the logic component of the test confirms that the recorded votes are correctly counted," he added.


This first phase of the L & A testing process targets the electronic votes cast on the eSlate voting machines. A "Test" version of the 50 different ballot styles in this election, in English, Chinese, and Spanish versions, is voted on the test machines. Test ballots are voted according to a predetermined voting matrix that will test every contest at least once in varying vote combinations, and the predetermined vote counts are known. Test ballot matrices include "undervotes" (fewer votes for an office than seats to be voted) and “overvotes” (more votes for an office than seats to be voted) to make sure that all potential voter choices are tested for accuracy. (Note: Because the eSlate machine prevents a voter from casting an overvote, this testing component applies only to paper ballots.) The test is passed only when there is a perfect match between the test votes cast counts and the predetermined test vote counts.

 

At a later date, the second phase of L & A testing will target paper ballot voting. The test is equally rigorous, using the identical process of marking ballots according to the test matrices. The paper ballots used for testing are clearly identified as "Test" ballots. The votes marked on the paper ballots are counted by running the ballots through a digital scannertabulator that operates with the voting system's BallotNow vote counting software. BallotNow searches out voting marks wherever they can appear on the ballot card, and counts them. The L & A test is passed only when there is a perfect match between the test votes cast counts and the predetermined test vote counts. This phase of testing begins after the first phase is completed.

 

After successfully passing all testing processes, 1,408 eSlate voting machines will be deployed for this election, at 342 polling places on Election Day, and at two regional Voting Center sites which also allow voting during the prior 29 days prior to Election Day. The Voting Centers will operate at the two office sites of the San Mateo County Registration- Elections Division, located at 40 Tower Road in San Mateo and at 555 County Center, First Floor, in Redwood City.

 

For more information about the November 8, 2011 Consolidated Municipal, School and Special District Election, go online at www.shapethefuture.org or call 650.312.5222.