Venezuela’s 2010 parliamentary elections: Audits

Audits are an essential part of a transparent election in which everyone can trust. And we believe that all parties, electoral commissions and observers need to be able to audit an election at every stage. These groups evaluated this election’s voting system, its hardware and its software, transmission and tallying, during the following tests. 

Engineering tests (1 August)
In 366 points throughout Venezuela, its electoral commission validated the deployed technological infrastructure and the proper functioning of the networks through which the electoral data will be transmitted: landlines, cellular and satellite phones. The technological transmission platform was verified by the joint work of the CNE (Venezuela’s National Electoral Council), Smartmatic, CANTV, officers of the CEOFAB (the Venezuelan army’s strategic command) and school districts from all over the country.

Voting software audits (9-11 August)
Technicians from the political parties and the CNE evaluated the machine programming. Smartmatic representatives demonstrated how the machines’ software worked during each of their functions (opening, voting, closing, transmission etc.)

Technology infrastructure audit (6 September, 2010)
Technicians from different civil organisations and from the CNE attended this audit. They revised the different components related to the operating system and access to safety devices to check everyone was happy with the infrastructure's designs and technical languages.

Pre-dispatch audit (19 September 19)
189 voting machines were audited in the presence of technicians from civil and political organisations. For the first time ever, the CNE invited ambassadors and diplomatic representatives from 20 countries to attend this audit that recreated many of the technical processes that would be executed on Election Day.

Closing audit (26 September)
At the end of Election Day, a closing audit took place. This consisted of the opening of over 54% of the safekeeping boxes where the physical voting vouchers were stored, so that they were compared with the tallying act that had been printed and sent. This audit was open to the public.