Registrar of Voters
Election Integrity/Voter Confidence Subcommittee Meeting
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
A meeting of the Voting Integrity/Voter Confidence Subcommittee of the Election Advisory Committee was held on Tuesday, September 19, 2006 at the Registrar of Voters’ Office. Members present were: Sherry Resen, Bob Roberts, Linda Bagnaschi Dorrance and Carl Carter and Elaine Ginnold from ROV.
Chain of Custody procedures for ballots and scanners
Committee members made suggestions for revisions to the Procedures for Deployment and Chain of Custody of Ballots and Voting Equipment. The ROV will revise the procedures and distribute them at the next meeting of the Election Advisory Committee.
Wireless capability on equipment
Ms. Ginnold advised sub-committee members that there is no wireless capability on the scanners.
The serial port connector on the back of the scanner controls the write- in diverter in the ballot box. ROV does not use this diverter, since it tends to jam with 18” ballots. The modem connection is for one-way transmission of results from the precincts on election night.
Members discussed the post election manual tally and the Roy Saltman article. In order to build up voter confidence in the election results, ROV will hand count ballots from 3% of the precincts for the upcoming November election and then assess the impact of this change. Saltman has recommended a tally of 3-5%, however, there was no supporting research cited in his article to form a basis for this recommendation. Arel Cordero at UC Berkeley has agreed to study the issue of what an optimal percentage for a manual tally would be. He has also agreed to study the issue of the percent spread between winning and losing candidates that should trigger a recount of the contest.
Use of volunteers to recount ballots: Ms. Ginnold said that she would be using regular full or part time paid staff to perform the manual tally. They have experience and are known to be dependable in their attendance.
Location of tally: The location of the manual tally will be at the Registrar of Voters’ Office.
Use of videotape, cameras to record ballots: Committee discussed the suggestion to recount and videotape ballots at the precincts after the clo se of polls and decided that it would present a security challenge. ROV does not permit videotaping at the polls or in the office since it violates employee and poll worker privacy and is intrusive to the process of the canvass. However, observers are welcome to observe the entire canvass process.
Time of audit. The post election canvass in CA by law begins on the Thursday after the election and continues until it is completed. The manual tally in Marin County will
continue to take place after all of the ballots are counted as recommended in the Wagner/Cordero paper on method of random selection of precincts.
Roy Saltman article: Saltman recommends a manual tally of 3-5 per cent of the precincts. ROV plans to conduct a manual tally of 3% of the precincts. See above on
study on optimal percentage for this tally.
Criteria that would trigger an automatic recount : Committee discussed the possibility of the ROV conducting an automatic recount if the percentage spread between a winning and losing candidate is equal to or less than .5%. ROV will consider doing such a recount during the canvass period if such a situation occurs after the November election. Recount will be done on a different machine than the one used on election day and ROV will consider hand counting additional precincts in the contest if time permits. Goal is to do what is necessary during the canvass to give voters and candidate’s confidence that the results are accurate.
ROV Election Day incident reporting forms
Reviewed the election day reporting form used in the Office and recommended expanding the Accuvote OS portion. Committee asked to look at the form used at the polls at the next meeting.
Report to Election Advisory Committee
Ms. Ginnold will report the recommendations of the sub committee for a 3% manual tally and automatic recount if .5% margin in a contest to the full committee at the next meeting.
Meeting adjourned at 6:00 p.m.