Counting Equipment Logic and Accuracy Test

Lynda Roberts, Registrar of Voters, Elections

Rev. 4/27/23



A public Logic and Accuracy Test (L&A) of the vote counting program is conducted before each election prior to counting official ballots at the Marin County Elections Office, Marin Civic Center, Room 121 in San Rafael, CA.

The Logic and Accuracy Test is designed to provide an overview of the vote counting process and to verify that the ballot counting program and counting equipment prepared for the election is properly reading and tabulating votes.

The Marin County Grand Jury and the Marin County League of Women Voters are each asked to select two members to participate as the Logic and Accuracy Board. The public is welcome to observe the test.

Duties of Board Members

  • Observe the printing of results reports.
  • Select one ballot type at random for each vote counting machine that will be used in the election.
  • Observe the ballots being scanned on the vote counting machines.
  • Verify result totals of counted test ballots.
  • Hand count the ballots for one or more contests to verify the results of the machine count.
    (This is optional)
  • Sign and date results reports.
  • Sign and date Certification of Test Results form.

Expected Results of Test

The test ballots are marked with votes for each candidate and measure according to a predetermined pattern. Different marking schemes are used depending on the number of candidates.

Below is an example of the most commonly used test pattern.

Candidate Number of Votes to Expect
Candidate 1 1 vote  
Candidate 2 2 votes
Candidate 3 3 votes
Candidate 4 4 votes
Candidate 5 5 votes
Candidate 6 6 votes

And so on until all of the candidates have the number of votes that corresponds to their position on the ballot, including write-in positions.

Measures Number of Votes to Expect
YES 1 vote  
NO 2 votes

Presidential Primary Election

In the presidential primary election, the expected results will be multiplied by the total number of party ballots.

Conducting the Test

  • The Computer Operator prints a zero votes summary report before the test ballots are scanned and gives it to the L&A Board to verify zero totals, sign and date.
  • After printing the zero votes report, the Computer Operator scans the test ballots.
  • After the test ballots are scanned, the Operator prints a summary report for each ballot type and gives it to the L&A Board members to verify results.

Verifying Results

Working in teams of two:

  • One member of the L&A Board reads from the Sample Ballot while the other member checks the report.
    • The number of votes for each candidate must match that candidate's predetermined total.
    • All measures should show 1 YES vote and 2 NO votes.
  • L&A members may hand count the ballots to confirm that the results of the test match the hand count.
  • After the board members have verified the totals match the expected results, they sign and date the report.

If mistakes are discovered:

  • The Registrar of Voters will investigate the cause of the mistakes and correct them.
  • After the mistakes are corrected, the Registrar of Voters will re-scan the corrected test ballots and generate new results reports for the L&A Board to review.

Completing the Test

  • After verifying the test results, the L&A Board Members give the signed and dated summary reports, and Certification of Test Results form to the Registrar of Voters.
  • All counted test ballot results are deleted from the tally server.
  • A final zero votes summary report is printed and given to the Board Members to verify zero totals, sign and date.
  • The Registrar of Voters boxes up all data from the L&A test:
    • Test ballots
    • All results reports
    • Sample ballots used to verify results
  • The Registrar of Voters seals, signs, and dates the box.
  • The sealed data is stored securely with other election materials for the mandated time period.