Venezuela’s 2005 municipal election: Audits

The Smartmatic voting technology underwent several tests and technical evaluations before and after Election Day:

End to end test (21 June)
A quality control test on a sample 120 Smartmatic voting machines to be used. Votes were input continuously until the time of transmission. Once the voting had concluded, a validation of the voting registry and the tallying of the entire sample was performed.

Engineering test (22 & 29 June)
The CNE conducted electoral data transmission tests on a national scale in order to validate the technological infrastructure. There were 694 Smartmatic voting machines tested: two in each of the 335 municipal assemblies — 268 municipal assemblies with wireless transmission and 67 with satellite transmission — and one in each electoral regional office.

Programming process audit (6 July)
Key members of the political parties, as well as Smartmatic and CNE technicians met to begin the audit process for the voting machines’ programming, which concluded two days later, on 8 July. During the first phase (which lasted from 7-30 May), Smartmatic technicians explained the process by which the voting machines were prepared. The second phase corresponded to explanations about the voting machine modules manager, which deals with all the different functions, from opening and voting to transmission and closing.

Voting trial (10 & 24 July)
6,500 Smartmatic machines for the 335 municipal assemblies were employed, and around 9,000 CNE and Smartmatic operators and technicians worked on each one of these simulations. The timing allowed them to simulate potential failures and to activate the possible contingency plans in the event a failure occurred during the actual 7 August elections. The process had an operational success rate of 95% and the tallying process was 100% accurate.

Pre-election audit (31 July)
Once programming for all of the 26,535 Smartmatic machines to be used was complete, 130 randomly selected voting machines (0.5% of the total) were audited. In this ‘zero error’ audit it was proven, yet again, that the Smartmatic voting solution provides accurate results, with a numerical inconsistency margin of close to 0%.

Closing audit (7 August)
For this particular event, over 6,500 audits were undertaken after voting concluded. The audit consisted of opening the ballot boxes — one for each voting center — and comparing the ballots to the electronic voting registry.

These audits confirmed that the electoral results were 100% accurate. In each of these instances, Smartmatic technology demonstrated its quality, reliability and accuracy.