Cops Canvass Report Procedure Summary

This is a section of the Cops Canvass Report. See also San Diego County Canvass Procedure

Canvass Procedure Summary

This section of the Cops Canvass Report describes the overall process used to conduct elections in San Diego County and determine the result. The description below is our best attempt to document the procedures used by the Ro V based on our understanding of the Elections Code, observations, questions, and the few documents that do exist.

Unfortunately, there is no comprehensive document maintained by the Ro V that describes their procedures as a whole, although there are several documents that do describe some portions of their process. As a result, to determine the procedures used by the Ro V we had to make assumptions, arrange to observe related activities, video record the actual process, or conduct meetings and Q&A exchanges. We encourage the Ro V or anyone else to submit corrections to the description below so that it accurately reflects current practice. We regard the absence of a policy and procedure document as a severe deficiency (See Issue A001: "Lack of Comprehensive Procedure Documentation") and prerequisite to implementation of a legitimate, comprehensive quality assurance program.

We also encourage the reader to view the Video of the February 5, 2008 Presidential Primary Canvass to see the handling of the ballots once they enter the Ro V office.

The California Secretary of State (So S) made an extensive Top-to-Bottom Review of all elections procedures in California, and this review resulted in changes to the procedures used in San Diego County, including a change from touch-screen machines provided by Diebold Systems (now Premier Election Solutions) to paper ballots that are scanned in the Ro V central office using scanners originally intended for use at polling places (also provided by Diebold) and then the result compiled using a Diebold "GEMS" central tabulator.

The procedure description below does not go into great detail about DRE touchscreen machines because they are a very small part of the total election ballot count, amounting to only about 750 ballots county wide. Those ballots are currently converted to paper ballots by hand by Ro V staff prior to scanning. Most precincts did not use touchscreen machines at all, with, in our sample, only 15 of 85 precincts using them at all (17%) and comprising only 49 votes of more than 34,000, or 0.14%. Prior to the top-to-bottom review by the Secretary of State, this was the most significant vulnerability. Thanks to the changes made in that review, we can essentially ignore this issue and concentrate on other issues.

If there are Issues of Concern that relate to a specific step in the procedure, those issues are listed only in brief form at the end of that section. Each one of the issues is expanded in more detail in a section of the Issues of Concern most closely related to that issue. Some Issues of Concern are related to more than one category, and if so, it is expanded in full in the category felt to be most relevant and listed in the other categories in brief form.

Preparation

Logic & Accuracy (L&A) Testing Procedures

This procedure is 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 nor a quality assurance test. The test is a procedure to verify that the software counting the ballots (in this case embedded in the scanners) will associate the location of a vote marked on a ballot with the correct candidate or measure on each of the many ballot configurations use by different voting precincts. The results show only that the software functions in a pre-established "Test Mode," and not in the real world "Election mode." In other words, the process is one of testing the test. These testing procedures test only the scanning process and do not test any human performance factors, such as procedures in the polling place, accuracy of the feeding process, chain of custody prior to and within the walls of the Ro V. Since it is conducted in an isolated test configuration that does not include so many aspects of election-day processing, it says little about how the entire system will operate on Election Day. However, this procedure is essential to confirm that a darkened bubble in a specific place on a specific ballot type results in an accurate record of the vote for the correct race.

Our project team has not witnessed this process nor video recorded it for review. It is likely that we will have further recommendations for improvement after our review is complete.

Review Status:

  • Issue C001: Logic & Accuracy Testing Not Witnessed by COPs
    Logic & Accuracy Testing Procedures not witnessed nor video recorded by our project team.

  • Issue C001: Question to Ro V
    Please provide advance notice to our project team so we may witness and video record Logic & Accuracy Testing.

Blank Ballot Printing and Allocation

Ballots are ordered and printed in the quantity as specified by the "Ballot Order Spreadsheet" and according to the Ballot Order Procedure so that there are sufficient ballots at each polling place in each language required by law. The ballots are counted and grouped by precinct by Ro V staff in preparation for pickup.

Review Status:

  • Issue C002: Ballot Order Chain of Custody
    We did not review the process of maintaining control of blank ballots and reconciliation at the precinct level. There is a concern regarding chain of custody of blank ballots. Is there a vulnerability to fraud based on accessing blank ballots and then removing and replacing completed ballots with those blank ballots which have been cast illegally?

Supply Pickup Weekend (SPUW)

  • Defining Document: None
  • Working Document: (None)

Supplies are distributed to the precincts during the weekend prior to election day. These include:
  • Temporary Voting Booths
  • Cardboard Ballot Boxes
  • Touchscreen voting machines
  • Blank Ballots
  • Sign-in Rosters
    • Blue, newly registered voters
    • White, regular voters marked to indicate if the voter is being sent their ballot by mail.
    • Pink, voters who have not voted for a while but are still registered.
    • Peach, blank sheets for provisional voters
  • Street Indexes
    • Voters names sorted by address
  • Ballot Statements
  • Peach envelopes for provisional ballots
  • Tamper-evident seals
  • Ballot Inventory Sheet - Two part form to confirm number of ballots distributed (see below).

Review Status:

  • Issue C003: SPUW Not Witnessed by COPs
    Supply pickup weekend not witnessed nor video recorded.

Blank Ballot Inventory Verification

The Precinct Inspector is instructed to count the ballots, verify the quantities listed, sign and date the two-part "Ballot Inventory Sheet", send (perhaps by mail) the white copy to the Ro V office and retain the yellow copy.

Although Ro V staff attempts to accurately count the blank ballots, mistakes do occur, and this verification by the Precinct Inspector should improve reliability of the count of blank ballots.

Review Status:

  • Issue A004: No Ballot Inventory Report -- No report is generated regarding whether any errors occurred during SPUW, including the count of ballots.

Election Day -- At the Polling Place

  • Defining Document: Precinct Worker Instructions -- we never got a copy of this. Ro V claimed it was on their website.
  • Working Documents:

Review Status:

  • Issue C004: Precinct Worker Instructions
    RoV indicated that precinct worker instructions were available for review on their website but those are not really available to the public. We need to review these instructions.

  • Issue C004: Question to Ro V
    Please provide Precinct Worker Instructions and related procedures documents.

Voter Sign-In

Voter provides name and address to poll worker and they look up the voter in the Blue, White, or Pink rosters. Poll worker confirms voter by matching the name and address.

  • If the voter is found on the Blue, White, or Pink rosters
    • and they are not marked as a Vote-by-Mail (VBM) voter on the rosters (typically by an "M" or similar designation), then they simply sign the roster.
    • Otherwise, if they are a VBM voter, then
      • If they have their VBM ballot to surrender, they sign the Blue, White, or Pink roster over the "M" (or similar) designation.
      • Otherwise, if they do not have their VBM ballot to surrender, they do not sign the Blue, White or Pink roster and are processed as a provisional voter.
  • If the voter is not found on the Blue, White, or Pink rosters,
    • the poll workers is first supposed to try to help the voter find the correct precinct for voting. Sometimes it is an adjacent polling place (even in the same building) or nearby. This is very important because the ballots at the precinct may not be the correct ones for the voter and may not include some races or issues that they are allowed to vote on while the provided ballot may include some races that are inappropriate for that voter. (1)
    • otherwise, and in the case of a VBM voter with no ballot to surrender, the voter signs the peach roster and complete a provisional ballot, including the envelope.

Note: Signatures on the Blue, White or Pink rosters are not routinely validated or reviewed. However, since precincts are relatively small and locating in neighborhoods, precinct workers may know the voters.

Poll workers are also supposed to update the Street Index which lists the voters by address. However, the updating of these sheets is not required after 6 p.m. and therefore many voters, estimated at 30% are not included on the sheets which invalidates this as an audit tool.

If the voter has a completed VBM ballot, it can be dropped off at the polling place. There is no logging procedure for these ballots at the precinct level and they are not counted and the voter does not sign any roster. (This is a significant deficiency in the chain of custody for VBM ballots. See Issue A010: "VBM Ballots Not Logged at Precinct"

Review Status
We reviewed the sign-in rosters for a portion of our 5% sample and counted the signatures. We were unable to scan these documents.

  • Issue A010: VBM Ballots Not Logged at Precinct
    VBM Ballots were not logged, counted, or reported by the precinct.

Voting

Each voter that properly signs in is provided with an appropriate ballot according to their language and party designation, if appropriate, and directed to a voting booth. After voting, each voter places the ballot in the ballot box or at least witnesses their ballot being placed into the box. The first voter of the day is supposed to witness an empty box prior to the seal being placed on the box.

If the voter chooses to use a touchscreen machine, then they use that machine and their vote is later copied onto a paper ballot. It is worth noting that they are required to copy DRE ballots to paper ballots because DREs can’t be trusted to be virus free. The So S ordered, in their Top to Bottom Review that an “air gap” be created to prevent the very unsecured DREs from being connected to the very unsecured central tabulator. If this is done, at least you eliminate DREs and the entry point for malicious software. (However, we noted that DRE's were connected to the central tabulator and several dozen DRE ballots directly loaded into the central tabulator contrary to the directive of the So S in this election, which could have allowed malicious software to be loaded into the central tabulator. See Issue A043 - Audit Log Discrepancies to put this issue in context.)

If the voter makes a mistake, they can return the ballot to the poll workers and this ballot is considered "spoiled" and they are then supplied with a new blank ballot. (Not sure if there is tracking of spoiled ballots, i.e. separate roster where the voters signs to confirm that they spoiled their ballot.)

Closing the Polls

When the precinct closes, the precinct workers open the ballot box, count the ballots, and complete the Ballot Statement. The Ballot Statement includes a worksheet to allow the poll workers to account for the ballots, and according to the state Election Code, they are obligated to reconcile these counts.(2), as follows:
  • Blank Ballots Received
    • Total unused Ballots
    • Total voted paper ballots
    • Total Provisional ballots
    • Total spoiled ballots
    • Sum of the above three items, should equal the ballots received.

  • Signatures
    • Blue pages signatures
    • White pages signatures
    • Pink pages signatures
    • Peach Pages Signatures
    • Total signatures, sum of the above four items.

  • Number of touchscreen ballots

  • Voted Ballots
    • Voted Paper Ballots
    • Voted Provisional Ballots
    • Touchscreen ballots
    • Total voted ballots, sum of the above three items, should equal the total signatures.

After completing the ballot statement, the ballots are placed in cartons suitable for transportation sealed with tamper-evident seals. DRE memory cards are placed into plastic envelopes and similarly sealed.

Review Status
Our oversight project included scanning 5% of the Ballot Statements for the November 2008 election, which can be reviewed here: Ballot Statements. It was very difficult to get these documents because the Ro V claims that the poll-worker signatures cannot be scanned, and so they had to be redacted prior to scanning. See Issue A009 - "Ballot Statements not Scannable").

  • Issue A005: No Seal Serial Number on Ballot Statements
    Serial numbers of the tamper-evident seals are not included on Ballot Statements.

  • Issue A006: Ballot Statements - Few balanced
    Only a few of the Ballot Statements had figures that balanced, and only one precinct had all the ballots correctly scanned. See Unscanned Ballots for a full analysis of this problem.

  • Issue A007: Ballot Statements - Removed Write-ins Not Documented
    Ballot Statements did not include a count of the number of write-ins and damaged ballots removed.

  • Issue A008: Ballot Statements - Office Use Section Not Explained -- Ballot Statements have an "Office Use Only" section does not include an explanation to allow the public to understand how it is being used.

  • Issue A009: Ballot Statements Not Scannable
    Ballot Statements must be scannable in their entirety, including signatures of precinct workers who sign them.

Collection Centers

There are 78 collection centers around the county and each one collects ballot cartons and other materials from approximately 21 precincts each, on the average. Workers at the collections centers complete log sheets that include the time and number of ballot cartons collected from each precinct.

Review Status
  • In the November 2008 election, 6 seals were noted as wrong or broken and reported to us in the Collection Center Logs. This figure differs substantially from the (later) figure from the Tally Center Log, where 99 seals (6%) were wrong or broken. This issue is discussed in the Chain Of Custody section.

  • Issue C005: Collection Center Activities not Observed by COPs
    We did not witness nor record activities at any collection centers.

  • Issue A012: Collection Center Seal Logs Lack Serial Numbers - Authorized personnel at Collection Centers are required to inspect the tamper-evident seals, but there is no place on the log sheet to document the seal numbers nor to note whether the seals were intact.

Tally Center Operations

The collection centers then transport the ballot cartons and other materials to the central Ro V facility, known as the "Tally Center".

Reception of Ballots

IMG 4527.JPG
Precinct Seq# Tracking Chart
The Tally Center receives ballot cartons from vans arriving from Collection Centers on election night at about 10pm. As the cartons are unloaded, the precinct sequence number is scanned using a bar code reader. Internal to the Tally Center, each one of the 1650 precincts is designated with a sequence number (Seq#) which ranges from 0001 to 1650 and generally corresponds to a single precinct.

The Ro V maintains a tracking chart which is a matrix of sequence numbers displayed on a computer screen and projected on one wall. Each Sequence number turns green when the ballots have unloaded and physically controlled by the tally center.

  • Issue C006: Tally Center Incoming Reception Observation
    We witnessed Tally Center Incoming Reception but did not video record it directly.

  • Issue A013: Tally Center Reception Count Misleading

Incoming Inspection

IMG 4525.JPG
Incoming Inspection Area at Tally Center

The first step in the process is to go through incoming inspection. At this point, the cartons are opened and their contents inspected. The inspectors record the following on log sheets, with one line per precinct:
  • Seq#
  • Wrong Seal
  • Box Not Sealed
  • Write-Ins Removed
  • Write-Ins not banded
  • Damaged Removed
  • Spoiled Removed

The inspectors look through the ballots quickly, usually flipping through them to see if write-ins, damaged, and spoiled ballots have been separated. They do not attempt to count the ballots at this point in any fashion, and there is no recording of VBM or Provisional ballots.

It is important to note at this point that there is an expectation that Write-Ins will be Removed and Banded. The actual processing of these ballots appears, based on other evidence, to be handled separately from the other ballots. In C00022R-2.1.4, the Ro V says that if voters vote for write-in candidates their ballots are tabulated separately after a determination is made whether they voted for a qualified write-in candidate.

Review Status
  • This process was video recorded.

  • Issue A014: Tally Center - Write-Ins Removed and Not Counted - Write-in ballots are removed permanently prior to scanning.

  • Issue A015: Tally Center - Damaged Ballots
    On the Tally Center Logs, there is a checkbox for "Damaged Removed." However, we don't know why any ballot would become damaged and not be treated as "spoiled."

  • Issue A016: Tally Center - 99 Seals broken or wrong
    In the November 2008 election, Tally Center Logs documented 99 precincts that had wrong or broken seals, a 6% rate, and there was no investigation.

Memory Card Pairing

IMG 4517.JPG
Pairing Memory Card with Precinct Ballots
All the ballot cartons from each precinct are gathered together and transported to another area where workers find the scanner memory card for that precinct. The first carton of the set of cartons grouped for that precinct is opened and the memory card placed inside. These memory cards configure the scanner to detect the darkened bubbles on the ballot and attribute that marking to a specific race, and accumulate the vote for the precinct for each of those races during the scanning process.

Review Status
  • This process was video recorded.
  • Comment: The act of opening and closing the box sometimes takes quite a bit of time and is perhaps superfluous.

Scanning

IMG 4530.JPG
150 manual-feed precinct scanners
DieboldPrecinctScanner-Labeled.jpg
Diebold Precinct Scanner

Once the memory card is mated with the ballots, they are transported to one of 150 workers and 150 scanners. These scanners were originally intended to be used at each precinct and are manually fed devices with a single memory card appropriate for that precinct. The scanners are outfitted with a printer that prints on a continuous roll of paper tape, about 3 inches wide, using a dot-matrix printer. (It is worth noting that since the scanners are now used only in the Tally Center, ballots are no longer counted electronically in the precinct before the ballots are transported to the Tally Center. Therefore, the chain of custody of the ballots is now more important as ballot security must be maintained until they are counted at the Tally Center.)

The process of scanning consists of the following steps:
  • Insert memory card into the scanner.
  • Zero the scanner and document it on the report tape.
  • Feed ballots one at a time through the scanner. These can be fed at the rate of about six ballots per minute.
  • Create a final report on the paper tape, tear off the tape and sign it.
    • Although a second tape was required by law when these scanners were used in each precinct, with that tape being displayed outside the precinct door for anyone to inspect, the printing of the second tape is no longer a practice when they are used in the Tally Center. However, the Ro V makes the original tape available for inspection, and we scanned tapes from 5% of the precincts in our review. (Unfortunately, that means we have to now wait until the election is certified before we can start our oversight responsibilities. COPs and other citizens requested that two records be produced at the same time and made available for review concurrent with the processing of the canvass. Although the amount of time to produce a second record is minimal, the Ro V refused.)
  • Re-box the Ballots and Report Tape, these are moved to the secure archival area.
    • The report tape, DRE memory, and various seals are later moved to individual manila envelopes and separated from the ballots.
  • Remove the memory card from the scanner and give it to the worker who transports these to the central tabulator.

Review Status

  • Issue A019: No Comparison of Ballot Count
    There is no comparison of the number of ballots scanned, as reported on the report tape, with the number of ballots counted at the precinct nor by the count as read by the central tabulator.

  • Issue A024: Scanner Tapes Not Accessible
    Scanner report tapes are no longer available early in the canvass.

  • Issue A025: Scanner Tapes Difficult to Process
    The audit trail provided by the current Ro V procedures include cash-register style paper tape which is difficult to process and sometimes impossible to read.

  • Issue A032: Archival Procedures Lacking
    There are no check-in and check-out procedures in the secure archive area and only documentation describing where the materials are in the storage facility.

Memory Card Reading

IMG 4505.JPG
Reading data from the memory cards into the GEMS Central Tabulator
The memory cards are transported to the central tabulator room. Several scanners are connected with serial communication cables (RS-232 or similar) to the Diebold Systems (now Premier Election Solutions) "GEMS" Central Tabulator. The workers insert a memory card into one of those scanners with the vote captured by one of the 150 scanners and press a button to have the central tabulator read the results of the scanning process. Thus, these scanners are only used to read the memory cards and are not used to scan ballots. The memory card is then sorted by Seq# and stored. These memory cards are not maintained as a permanent record of the election. The audit record available in the Central Tabulator does not provide sufficient detail to reconstruct the data from these cards.

Review Status

  • Issue A017: Scanner cards not Archived
    Memory cards used to capture the vote from each scanner are not maintained as a permanent record of the election.

  • Issue A018: Audit Log Insufficient
    The audit record available from the GEMS Central Tabulator does not provide sufficient detail to reconstruct the election.

  • Issue A019: No Comparison of Ballot Count
    There is no comparison of the number of ballots scanned, as reported on the report tape, with the number of ballots counted at the precinct nor by the count as read by the central tabulator.

Vote-By-Mail and Provisional Ballot Processing

  • Defining Document: None
  • Working Document: Voter Data File, a database. (No access transaction log available.)

The Vote-by-Mail (VBM) and provisional ballots are each processed similarly but both the VBM and provisional ballots are processed differently than election-day ballot processing. VBM ballots are completed at home by the voter and mailed in, or may be dropped off at the Ro V office or any polling place on election day. Provisional ballots are completed if the voter chooses to vote in a precinct where the voter's name does not appear on the sign-in roster, or if the voter is a VBM voter and wants to vote on election day but does not have a ballot to surrender to polling place workers.

Review Status

  • Issue A001: Lack of Comprehensive Policy and Procedure Documentation

  • Issue C007: VBM & Provisional Process Witnessing
    The Vote-By-Mail and Provisional Ballot Processing procedure was not recorded on video and our description was generated solely through Q&A with Ro V staff.

  • Issue A014: Tally Center - Write-Ins Removed and Not Counted - Write-in ballots are removed permanently prior to scanning.

Ro V Commented on Provisionals in C00022R-2.1. They said (quote):
Provisional ballots are processed according to the type of provisional: i.e., mail ballot voters who did not have their mail ballots to surrender, “visiting voters who are at the wrong precinct: or “fail safe” voters who moved before the close of registration and failed to re-register. The ballots are just regular polls ballots that are placed in a provisional envelope UNLESS the voter is returning a voted mail ballot and did not have their mail ballot ID envelope, in which case they use a provisional envelope.)

VBM Incoming Reception

Envelopes are scanned into the "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 the Ro V 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.

Review Status

  • Issue A020: No Log of changes to the Election Management System
    The Election Management Systems is updated when a VBM ballot is received. However, there is no audit log of each transaction.

VBM Signature Verification

Each envelope is inspected prior to removing the ballot. The signature is compared with the signature supplied on the Voter Registration Form. Voter Data is also checked to see that voter has not already voted at the precinct. 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.

VBM Precinct Sorting

Prior to removing the ballot from the envelope, they are sorted by precinct.

VBM Ballot Removal

Ballots are removed and placed into ballot cartons which have mixed precincts.

Review Status

  • Issue A021: VBM Ballots are not counted
    VBM Ballots are not counted after being removed from the envelope and before submitting for scanning, and there is no attempt to confirm the count of ballots as they are scanned.

VBM Ballot Scanning

Each filled ballot carton (mixed precincts) is transported to any one of 15 scanner stations for processing. 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, with each scanner directly connected to the central tabulator computer. 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 Ro V claims scanner operators pre-count 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 at 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.

Review Status

  • Issue A022: VBM Ballots not precounted during scanning
    We were told that the scanner operator pre-counts the ballots as they run them, but this did not occur.

VBM Ballot Archival

Ballots are returned to their cartons and archived in that fashion, and are not united with other ballots from the same precinct.

Manual Tally Procedure

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Manual Tally

To validate the requests provided by electronic equipment, the So S requires that the Ro V conduct a Post-Election Manual Tally (PEMT). After the So S completed the top-to-bottom review of state election systems in 2007, the Ro V was directed to conduct a 10% PEMT procedure. However, the County of San Diego declined to do so, and met the So S in court over this issue. At this point, only the One-Percent Manual Tally is performed. You can view this process in the video of the Feb 5, 2008 presidential primary.

There are a number of important issues of concern we have with this process. These are detailed in a separate Issues of Concern Category Manual Tally Procedure Review in this document, and will not be further processed here.

Canvass Reconciliation

The Ro V must somehow decide if the canvass is complete based on whether the counts and vote reconcile. This procedure is mentioned by the Ro V but is undocumented.

Review Status

  • Issue A026: No Reconciliation Procedure
    Although the Ro V goes through a lengthy process of reconciliation which has been referenced in many conversations with them, this process is not documented in any procedure document.

  • Issue A027: No Operator Notes
    A log of all operator activities should be maintained.

  • Issue A028: No Reconciliation Report
    A reconciliation report should be provided that includes an explanation for any irregularities and provides a means to document that the canvass is complete.

  • Issue A031: No Seal Tampering Report
    At present there is no report explaining tampered seals.

Next section: Five Percent Review


This section included only to complete relative links to documents.

Documents Referenced

The following documents were provided by the Ro V as a response to our request or obtained from other sources. These documents will be referenced in later sections by name. "RoV Procedure Documents" specify procedures used in each election while "RoV Election Documents" are specific to this election.

The casual reader of this report may move directly to Procedure Summary while keeping in mind the fact that these documents and abbreviations are defined here.

  • Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines(3) were authored by the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), a committee authorized under the HELP America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, and researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). These guidelines were authored primarily to guide voting machine manufacturers in their design of voting systems.
  • Logic & Accuracy Testing Procedure(4) An RoV Procedure Document that specifies how to confirm basic operation of the electronic scanning equipment.
  • Ballot Order Procedure(5) An RoV procedure document that specifies how the number of ballots is determined.
  • Ballot Order Spreadsheet(6) An RoV Election Document that lists the quantity of ballots ordered for each precinct and supplemental orders. Includes Sequence Number to Precinct Number conversion.
  • Ballot Inventory Sheet(7) An RoV Election Document. This is a sample of the document sent to each precinct leader to verify the count of blank ballots received.
  • Street Indexes(8) An RoV Election Document that lists voters by address and each is checked off as they vote. About half of our 5% sample were scanned but we discovered they were incomplete as most polling places did not continue to complete these after 6 p.m. on election day.
  • Ballot Statements(9) An RoV Election Document. These were initially withheld by the RoV due to legal concerns of showing signatures. (Requested in C00022). These have been scanned by the Registrar with the signatures concealed.
  • Collection Center Logs(10) Reports from 80 collection centers were scanned from RoV on 2009-03-23. Each report handles 21 precincts, on the average. No logging of seal conditions or serial numbers.
  • Collection Center Seal Report(11) Describes 6 seals that are missing or wrong
  • Tally Center Log(12) Use by incoming inspectors at the Tally Center. Describes 99 seals broken or wrong, 6% error rate.
  • Security Seal Standards(13) includes ISO/PAS 17712 - Freight container seal standards.
  • Batch box label (Used as tracking device when in facility).
  • Scanner Tapes for our 5% Sample(14) These pdf files contain three scanner tapes each, and were manually scanned by COPs volunteers.
  • Manual Tally Procedure(15) An RoV Procedure Document
  • San Diego County Manual Tally Report for 2008-11-04 election(16) This five-page report is extremely deficient compared with the recommendation of the Secretary of State, which would result in about 800 pages. This report includes NO vote totals and only a count of the ballots.
  • Audit Log (of central tabulator)(17) An RoV Election Document produced by the GEMS Central Tabulator.
  • Canvass Reports(18) Certified results of the RoV for our 5% Sample.
  • Precinct Sequence 1563(19) which is one of the few Ballot Statements that reconciled completely. The precinct had no touchscreen ballots. The ballot statement discloses 565 ballots counted and that matches the number of non-provisional signatures (565). However, the scanner tape from the Tally Center says there were only 550 cards cast.

Other Documents and media

Interaction Documents

The following documents record our requests and responses by the Ro V:

Abbreviations and Terminology

If you do not find the definition here, please also see this reference:
http://www.eac.gov/vvsg/g/definitions-of-words-with-special-meanings
  • Collection Centers - 80 centers throughout the county where ballots are collected from individual precincts, each averaging 21 precincts.
  • CVR - Cast Vote Record - Archival record of all votes produced by a single voter. Cast vote records may be in electronic, paper, or other form. Electronic cast vote records are also called ballot images. In San Diego County, the durable paper ballot is the CVR.
  • DRE - Direct Recording Equipment - Voting machines that directly record the vote of the voter without using paper ballots. These machines have superior usability for disabled voters, but are inherently subject to election fraud risks, and therefore are no longer used except for one unit per precinct for use by disabled voters, and their vote is transferred to paper ballots and processed with the rest.
  • IVVR - independent voter-verifiable records - all voting systems must include a vote-capture device that uses independent voter-verifiable records (IVVR). For example, durable paper ballots that are scanned represents a ballot that can be easily read by the voter and interpreted by machines.
  • PAV - Permanent Absentee Voter - Deprecated. Now "VBM."
  • PI - Precinct Inspector - The lead poll worker at each polling place.
  • RoV - San Diego County Registrar of Voters
  • Seq# - The precinct sequence number, from 0001 to 1650. This number is used internal to the Ro V and relates to one polling place.
  • SPUW - Supply Pick-Up Weekend - The weekend prior to election day when supplies are distributed to polling places by having polling place workers pick up their supplies.
  • SoS - California Secretary Of State CA - This elected office is responsible for overseeing the elections process.
  • Tally Center - The central office of the Ro V where the main task of scanning ballots and compiling the final certified canvass occurs.
  • VBM - Vote-by-Mail - Previously called PAV, permanent absentee voters.
  • Voter Data File - Information about each registered voter is maintained in a database, including whether the voter has voted, whether they have requested a VBM ballot, their digitized signature, etc.

Notes

1 : One of our reviewers (KK) said that poll workers are not trained for this. What they are trained to do is pressure the voter into accepting a provisional ballot. At one election, I pressured the ROV official on site (CSUSD) to track a voter’s registration and, quite easily, determined that this voter’s correct polling place was nearby.

2 : Apparently, the requirement that the precinct workers must complete the Ballot Statement and account for every ballot is in dispute. From a recent appellate brief:

Respondent Violated the Elections Code Requirement for an Accounting of Official Ballots

The Elections Code § 14405 requires the following:
  1. The members of the precinct board shall account for the ballots delivered to them by returning a sufficient number of unused ballots to make up, when added to the number of official ballots cast and the number of spoiled and canceled ballots returned, the number of ballots given to them. The officers receiving returned ballots shall compel this accounting.
  2. The precinct board shall complete the roster as required in Section 14107, and shall also complete and sign the certificate of performance prescribed in Section 15280, if that section applies.

Section 14107 (Elec. Code § 14107, sub. (a).) requires poll workers to affirm the following:
"We further certify that the total number of official ballots received, voted, rejected, spoiled and canceled, found in the ballot container and the number accounted for is as indicated on the ballot statement."

Appellant’s review of Respondent’s ballot statements revealed that poll workers did not account for the ballots as required and Respondent did not compel them to. (Plaintiff’s Exhibit 7, 2 AA 295-313.) In fact, Respondent’s official policy is to relieve poll workers from their duties to account for the ballots. (Plaintiff’s Exhibit 8, 1 AA 314 (last paragraph); Plaintiff’s Exhibit 3, 1 AA 284:25-26.)

A Dispute Exists as to the Duty to Account for Ballots under the Elections Code
Respondent states that “precinct workers are not required to certify that they have fully accounted for all ballots. Rather, the Legislature only requires that the precinct workers certify that ‘the number accounted for is as indicated on the ballot statement.’” (2 AA 375:16-18 (quoting Section 14107).) This logic leads to the conclusion that the legislative intent is merely to require that a poll worker put a number on the ballot statement and certify that the number is the number the worker put on the statement. This logic requires that one ignore the mandate that poll workers “shall account for the ballots delivered to them.” (Elec. Code §14405, subd. (a).) The obvious intent of accounting for the ballots is to ensure that unused ballots cannot be illegally “voted” and used to replace offending legitimate ballots by those with malicious intent. Respondent’s assertion that accounting for ballots after the semifinal official canvass, when the votes have already been counted and reported to the Secretary of State, neither complies with the code nor mitigates the risks involved. A late reconciliation of the number of ballots will not determine whether unused ballots have been used for illegitimate purposes, or whether legitimate ballots have been tampered with.

3 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/VoluntaryVotingSystemGuidelines Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines - were authored by the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), a committee authorized under the HELP America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002, and researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). These guidelines were authored primarily to guide voting machine manufacturers in their design of voting systems.

4 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M829 Logic & Accuracy Testing Procedure - An RoV Procedure Document that specifies how to confirm basic operation of the electronic scanning equipment.

5 : http://www.copswiki.org/w/pub/Common/M717/COP_PRA_Response_Attach_2.pdf Ballot Order Procedure - An RoV procedure document that specifies how the number of ballots is determined.

6 : http://www.copswiki.org/w/pub/CommonM821/C00019_Response_20.3.3_Ballot_order_and_supplemental_order_for_11-08.xls Ballot Order Spreadsheet - An RoV Election Document that lists the quantity of ballots ordered for each precinct and supplemental orders. Includes Sequence Number to Precinct Number conversion.

7 : http://www.copswiki.org/w/pub/Common/M717/COP_PRA_Response_Attach_1.pdf Ballot Inventory Sheet - An RoV Election Document. This is a sample of the document sent to each precinct leader to verify the count of blank ballots received.

8 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/StreetRosters Street Indexes - An RoV Election Document that lists voters by address and each is checked off as they vote. About half of our 5% sample were scanned but we discovered they were incomplete as most polling places did not continue to complete these after 6 p.m. on election day.

9 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/BallotStatements Ballot Statements - An RoV Election Document. These were initially withheld by the RoV due to legal concerns of showing signatures. (Requested in C00022). These have been scanned by the Registrar with the signatures concealed.

10 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/CollectionCenterLogs Collection Center Logs - Reports from 80 collection centers were scanned from RoV on 2009-03-23. Each report handles 21 precincts, on the average. No logging of seal conditions or serial numbers.

11 : http://www.copswiki.org/w/pub/Common/M717/COP_PRA_Response_Attach_4.pdf Collection Center Seal Report - Describes 6 seals that are missing or wrong

12 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M828 Tally Center Log - Use by incoming inspectors at the Tally Center. Describes 99 seals broken or wrong, 6% error rate.

13 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/SecuritySealStandards Security Seal Standards - includes ISO/PAS 17712 - Freight container seal standards.

14 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/ScannerTapes Scanner Tapes for our 5% Sample - These pdf files contain three scanner tapes each, and were manually scanned by COPs volunteers.

15 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M830 Manual Tally Procedure - An RoV Procedure Document

16 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M691 San Diego County Manual Tally Report for 2008-11-04 election - This five-page report is extremely deficient compared with the recommendation of the Secretary of State, which would result in about 800 pages. This report includes NO vote totals and only a count of the ballots.

17 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M831 Audit Log (of central tabulator) - An RoV Election Document produced by the GEMS Central Tabulator.

18 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/CanvassReports Canvass Reports - Certified results of the RoV for our 5% Sample.

19 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/PrecinctSeq1563 Precinct Sequence 1563 - which is one of the few Ballot Statements that reconciled completely. The precinct had no touchscreen ballots. The ballot statement discloses 565 ballots counted and that matches the number of non-provisional signatures (565). However, the scanner tape from the Tally Center says there were only 550 cards cast.

20 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/OpenCanvass Open Canvass method - A method to reduce election processing vulnerability based on scanning all ballots and comparing vote extraction from several competing actors

21 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M434 Video of the February 5, 2008 Presidential Primary Canvass -

22 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M688 Nov. 21, 2008 Meeting with Deborah Seiler (video) - After this initial meeting, the Registrar refused to allow us to record our meetings, and so we discontinued that approach and instead used written requests for information only.

23 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M860 Secretary of State Top-to-Bottom Review -

24 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/AllPrecincts All Precincts - provides results of our data collection activity for all the precincts in our 5% sample.

25 : http://www.copswiki.org/Cops/AllRaces All Races - provides a link to a separate page for each race in the election and lists the vote count from each precinct in the 5% sample.

26 : http://electionmathematics.org/em-audits/US/PEAuditSamplingMethods.pdf Kathy Dopp, 'Checking election outcome accuracy Post-election audit sampling' - Derives a simple formula to determine the number of precincts that must be sampled to validate election results with known apparent vote counts.

27 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M351 Potrero Planning Group Recall Vote Count Video, 2007-12-11 - This is the entire initial vote count performed on December 11, 2007 demonstrating the method of manual tallying used by the San Diego County Registrar of Voters.

28 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M667 C00014: Letter to Registrar of Voters requesting Statement of Votes Cast, 2008-10-03 - We requested that the RoV create two copies of the scanner tapes, as specified by law, so that we could start our review of the election right away. They refused, forcing us to wait until the election was certified before we could start to review the scanner tapes.

29 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M668 C00015: Letter to Secretary of State requesting support of our request to Registrar of Voters requesting Statement of Votes Cast, 2008-10-08 - We forwarded our letter to the RoV (C00014) to the Secretary of State in an effort to persuade the county to comply with access to the scanner report tapes prior to the end of the election. This request was refused, with the rationale being that state law applies only in the precinct and they are not required to create a second scanner tape prior to election certification.

30 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M691 C00016: Letter to RoV: Manual Tally Report Questions, 2008-11-20 - This three-page request was submitted prior to the closing day of the canvass period and pointed out that they were not using the appropriate format for their PEMT report.

31 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M689 C00016 R: Response by County Counsel regarding Nov. 20 Letter to the RoV, 2008-11-25 - This response was the least cooperative and would not answer simple questions regarding why ballots were missing in the PEMT report.

32 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M716 C00017 - Letter to San Diego Registrar of Voters regarding Election Procedures (2008-12-02) - This five-page request was submitted on the closing day of the canvass period.

33 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M717 C00017 R - Response to C00017 by San Diego Registrar of Voters regarding Election Procedures (2008-12-16) - Includes Ballot Order Procedure, One Percent Manual Tally Procedure, Collection Center Comments on Carton Seals.

34 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M819 C00019 - Letter to San Diego Registrar of Voters regarding Election Processing (2009-01-08) - This 19-page request was a followup to C00017, and was submitted twice, the second time (C00021) in an abbreviated format to aide in processing.

35 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M821 C00019 R - Response to C00019 and C00021 by San Diego Registrar of Voters regarding Election Procedures (2009-02-24) -

36 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M878 C00022 - Questions to Registrar of Voters on Nov, 2008 Election (Part 3) (2009-09-01) - Request for Ballot Statements, Street Indexes, Question about ballot counts, and Premier contact.

37 : http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M879 C00022 R: Response to C00022 by Registrar of Voters (2009-09-09) - Answered some questions. Ballot Statements took several weeks to finally get in full, no contact to Premier Election Solutions provided.


Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
IMG_4505.JPGJPG IMG_4505.JPG manage 827 K 2014-06-26 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Reading data from the memory card
IMG_4517.JPGJPG IMG_4517.JPG manage 728 K 2014-06-26 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Pairing Memory Card with Precinct Ballots
IMG_4525.JPGJPG IMG_4525.JPG manage 931 K 2014-06-26 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Incoming Inspection Area at Tally Center
IMG_4527.JPGJPG IMG_4527.JPG manage 506 K 2014-06-26 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Precinct Seq# Tracking Chart
IMG_4530.JPGJPG IMG_4530.JPG manage 921 K 2014-06-26 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz 150 Precinct Scanners
IMG_4533.JPGJPG IMG_4533.JPG manage 949 K 2014-06-26 - 21:23 Raymond Lutz Manual Tally
Topic revision: r37 - 2016-12-24, RaymondLutz
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