Venezuela 2004’s recall referendum: Audits

Before and after the elections, various parties performed a battery of tests on the software and hardware of the voting machines. Plus close scrutiny was also applied to the counting platform, as well as to backup and transmission of the results. And on June 26th, engineering tests were performed to verify that data was being transmitted and tallied correctly.

A national electoral drill was also performed on July 17th, 2004, to satisfy the formal prerequisite of the CNE and the SBC Consortium. The test was open to the public in some voting centers, not just to familiarize voters with the new technology, but also to run tests under the same kind of conditions that prevail on Election Day. The system worked perfectly; the test was 100% successful.

Then 72 hours before the election was to take place, a pre-audit was performed in order to evaluate the technical and logistic functioning of the system. The aim was to ensure that Smartmatic’s technology worked in every area of the country, to correct any last-minute details that may have been overlooked and to determine what actions, if any, should be taken if unforeseen problems should occur.

Finally, selective auditing was performed after voting places were closed, to ensure that the electronic results tallied with the printed votes in the ballot boxes. All of these evaluations were carried out in the presence of international observers, witnesses from the CNE, as well as members of both opposition and pro-government parties.