Venezuela’s 2012 regional elections: Audits and tests
In Venezuela, the voting system is always audited before, during and after each election. For this one, the electoral authorities had organized several evaluations of the software and hardware of the voting machines, as well as of the transmission and tallying of the votes. Technical representatives of all political parties participated in all these audits:
Audit toward the certification of the software in the voting machines (5-7 November)
During this source code audit, it was verified that the software installed in the voting machines was the correct one. It was also certified that the software registered, tallied and transmitted the votes correctly.
Audit toward the tallying software certification (28-30 November)
In this audit, political organisations checked the counting system, its components, the source code and the digital signature.
Audit to the biometric system (29 October-2 November)
During this audit, it was verified that there's no relation between the fingerprint capture process and the sequence in which votes are registered, enforcing the constitutional mandate for the secrecy of the vote and the "one man, one vote" principle. This audit also included the modules that make up the voting system, and the generation of the application's digital signature.
Audit of the priming of the voting machines (10 November – 10 December)
Representatives of all the political parties and CNE technicians verified that the voting machines were configured with the software code certified in the previous audit.
Audit of the voting infrastructure (3 & 4 December)
This audit checked the technological platform of the voting machines and its structure. A voting machine was disassembled in front of representatives of the political parties, so its components could be observed. Thus everyone could see that they were all needed for voting to take place, meaning there were no secondary or superfluous elements that might perform tasks unrelated to, or not required by the voting process.
Pre-dispatch audit (9 December)
Completely reformulated, this new mock run audit replicated the electoral process. This test was conducted a week before the elections with 1,400 voters that use a group of voting machines selected at random.
Post-voting audit (28 December)
Replay of the closing audit, where the representatives of the political parties verify the ballot boxes, counting once again the vouchers inside. These results are compared to those produced by the voting machine's tallying software and are certified by the political parties.
Other audits and tests:
Full regional election audit, or "Audit for citizen verification" (16 December)