Zero error in pre-election audit of SAES voting machines

Caracas, November 26, 2007 - Once more, a successful 'zero error' was the result of the pre-election audit, held by the National Electoral Council of Venezuela, to 171 Smartmatic voting machines, before the referendum to be held on December 2.

The random sample, which represents 0.5% of the voting machines that will be used during the Constitutional Reform Referendum, was subject to a complex auditing process with the presence of witnesses and technicians from both sides.

The tests consisted on dismantling and assembling the machines, a thorough examination of the software and an electoral drill to check that everything is adjusted to the protocols established by the CNE (by its acronym in Spanish).

The president of the electoral authority, Tibisay Lucena, said that, as requested by both sides, additional data transmission tests and review of the voting lists had been carried out. She added that this audit certifies, once more, that there are no differences between the elector's vote, what is registered by the machine's station tally and the tallied and transferred results.

On the other hand, Sandra Oblitas, CNE Director, said: 'the different audits scheduled before December 2, show that our electoral system is flawless'. She also pointed out that 'Technicians from both sides have participated in all the audits and they have certified the system is completely secure'

After the referendum, a closing audit (right after the elections are over) will be carried out on 54.37% of the machines that will be randomly selected on Election Day. Finally, once the event is over and the machines are taken back to the deposit, another audit will be carried out on 1% of the machines that were used across the whole country.