Venezuela’s 2013 municipal elections: Audits

1. Engineering test, 15 September
Checks operative readiness and fault tolerance of the results transmission platform. 

2. Audit of the biometric system, 14-18 October
Tests that there is no relation between the order in which the voters’ fingerprints are taken and the sequence their votes are stored, thus guaranteeing the constitutional mandate for the secrecy of the vote.

3. Audit of the voting machine software, 14-18 October
Verifies that the software running on the voting machine correctly performed vote casting, tallying and transmission. 

4. Voting simulation, 20 October
Nationwide test of all of the system’s technological and logistical elements, as they’d be used on Election Day. 

5. Audit of the tallying software, 26 October - 1 December
Audits the source code of the software running on the tallying centre servers. Important because this is where results are tallied, winners are decided and where final results are generated. 

6. Audit of the voting machine assembly process, 29 October - 30 November
Verifies that the code previously certified during the software audit is the same code being installed on the machines. Also checks the machines operated as defined. This involves the random selection of a number of voting machines (pre-selected by the political parties) before performing a voting simulation on them in order to check their proper operation.
7. Audit of the voting infrastructure, 27-29 November
Checks the voting machines technological platform and structure. A machine is disassembled in the presence of political party representatives, so they can verify that every one of its component is necessary for the election, and that there are no secondary or extraneous elements that could perform actions unrelated to (or not in conformity with) the voting process. 

8. Pre-dispatch audit, 1 December
Complete test of the voting process, including voting, data transmission, tallying, and a final audit using the vouchers in the ballot boxes. All this takes place in the presence of political party representatives. 

9. Pre-electoral telecommunications audit, 6 December
Demonstrates that the networks used to transmit the results on Election Day function properly (this is a private network used only for the election, completely isolated from the Internet). 

10. Citizen verification, phase I, 8 December
After polls closed, citizens compare voting vouchers against precinct counts printed by the machines, to guarantee the will of the voters was correctly represented. Based on a random sample of over 50% of the voting machines. 

11. Post-electoral telecommunications audit, 9 December
Verifies that the telecommunications network used has the same configuration as before the election, to show no changes were made to it during the voting process. 

12. Audit of the electoral results transmission, 7-9 December
Technicians from the political parties check the whole voting infrastructure (servers and communication components), hosted in the data centres used for vote tallying. 

13. Citizen verification, phase II, 13 December
Technicians from the National Electoral Council and the political parties verify that the voters’ choices, reflected on the voting vouchers, match the precinct counts in data centres used for vote tallying, after data transmission on Election Day. Performed on 1% of the polling centres, randomly selected.