Venezuela’s 2004 regional election: Audits

Engineering test (23 October)
This drill covered the entry of manual acts, the certification and transmission of vote summaries, the generation of bulletins, tally auxiliaries and generation of acts of adjudication. Tests results showed the treatment and tally of manual and electronic ballots functioned perfectly throughout the system.

The transmission test covered the incorporation and transmission of data from the 335 municipal boards, 23 regional boards and two district boards to the tally center from the electoral commission, the CNE, through the communication channels provided by CANTV. Direct connections were made from each electoral council and the operation was monitored by the CNE.

National electoral drill (10 October)
2,500 automated voting centers were involved, each one of them with a SAES-3000 voting machine and an electronic ballot. A National Tallying Center was tested at the CNE. As were the National Backup Tallying Center, the Monitoring and Control Center and the Backup and Control Center were at CANTV, Smartmatic’s telecommunications partner for vote transmission. More than 9,000 operators and technicians took part in the drill.

Previous audit or pre-voting audit (28 October)
In this audit, 118 SAES-3000 machines were randomly chosen for testing. This represented 0.5% of the 23,594 voting machines available for these regional elections. Technicians and operators from 40 auditing groups cast their votes in each of the machines, following agreed guidelines. The voting receipts were placed in an envelope to compare those results to the vote summaries in every machine. No discrepancies were found, allowing everyone to verify the accuracy and reliability of the system.

Once the event was over, the closing auditing and a post-voting auditing were carried out. The electoral commission’s President said that two types of auditing had been performed: 1] The closing audit, which meant opening a ballot box in every voting center on the day of the election in front of the members of the polling station, the witnesses from each of the candidates and the media; and 2] The post-voting audit (2 November), where 1% of the 5,340 ballot boxes were opened, to evaluate them more thoroughly.