CNE and Smartmatic signed service and new machine purchase contracts

Caracas, June 23, 2005.-The Venezuelan National Elections Council (CNE) signed two contracts with Smartmatic: one related to the purchase of 5.500 SAES3300 voting machines, in addition to the 25.000 used in the 2004 election processes and the other one to guarantee election services (operators, deployment, logistics, transport and safekeeping of machines, among other services) required for the Municipal and Parochial elections to be held on August 7, 2005.

With these contracts, the electoral power acquires the new SAES3300 touch screen voting machines and other supplies (Operation Licenses and pressure sensitive devices to be used as electronic ballot sheets).

This agreement obliges Smartmatic to reprogram the existing 25 thousand voting machines purchased last year by the electoral authorities, to produce the electronic ballots to be used for the forthcoming Municipal and Parochial Elections in Venezuela on August 7, 2005, and to handle the transportation and safekeeping of materials and supplies used in the election. There are also provisions for handling of the recruitment, selection and training of operators for the machines; the testing of software, scrutiny and totalizing systems; and the testing of the scrutiny data transmissions.

Smartmatic also closed the sale of the new SAES3300 machines together with related products and services, to be delivered in two lots: 2.500 machines to be used in the Municipal and Parochial Elections, and the balance to be delivered in September 2005, on time for the Parliamentary Elections in December 2005.

The new SAES3300 voting machines
The new SAES3300 voting unit is an upgrade version of the well-known SAES3000, keeping the agility, sturdiness and compact design, with the latest control and security innovations.

Product comparisons show improvements such as: increased processing capacity; modem built into the machine's motherboard, to provide better systems integration and facilitate contingency handling for technicians; a new controller card for software control of hardware (this card allows technicians using the appropriate software to ascertain, for example, the current power source battery or line used by the equipment and, if battery, to determine the current power level so replacements can be installed on time. This feature allows other machine settings, such as screen brightness and contrast to be modified at will). The machine also features a better quality and resolution 10.1' touch screen monitor built to withstand multiple-selection election processes; a sound card, remote control and earphones to allow sight impaired persons to vote with private audio. A space for printed instruction placards is also incorporated on the main screen.

SAES3300 is an easy to use, set up and transport integrated one-piece system. It is built to be impervious to any tampering and/or fraud attempts. Over 250 layered security devices guarantee that the ballots cast by voters are stored, encrypted and securely transmitted. The built-in ballot printer also allows the voter to check that his on-screen selection is exactly the same as that registered, processed and printed.