Prior to and after every election, the equipment used to record, tabulate, and report votes must be tested according to state laws and regulations. Three types of voting system tests must be performed: a Hardware Diagnostic Test, a Logic and Accuracy Test, and a Post-Election Audit Test.
The Hardware Diagnostic test is performed to verify that mechanical components of each electronic voting device are working correctly. After the successful completion of the test for each device, the devices are sealed. Documentation of the sealed information and all testing records for each device are maintained by the Denver Elections Division.
The Logic and Accuracy Test is a step by step documented review of the Elections Division’s ability to produce accurate results on voter choices for the candidates and ballot issues in an election. It is.performed by Elections Division staff and an appointed testing board, consisting of at least one representative from each major political party, and it is open to the public and the media. In preparation for the Logic and Accuracy Test, the Elections Division staff prepares a test deck of ballots sufficient in number so that it includes every ballot style and allows for election staff to vote a position for every candidate on every race including write-in candidates, overvotes, and undervotes for each race. This test deck is run on the Elections Divisions high speed optical ballot scanners and the results are compared to a hand tally of those same ballots.
The official Logic and Accuracy Test begins when the Testing Board is provided with blank ballots identical to those that are used in the election. The members of the Testing Board secretly cast votes on both paper ballots and touch screen voting machines. The ballots are then tallied by hand by a ballot tabulation team. Once tabulated, the ballots are run through high speed optical ballot scanners. Then the results from the optical scanners are compared to the results of the hand tally. Any discrepancies are reported, addressed, and reconciled. As a last step, the Test Board signs a Public Logic and Accuracy Testing Certification document verifying that all required testing was completed in a satisfactory manner.
After Election Day, the Post-Election Audit takes place when the Secretary of State randomly selects which election machinery is to be audited and then notifies the Denver Elections Division of their choice. The machinery selected includes five percent of the touch screen voting machines and at least one of the Sequoia 400c optical ballot scanners.
During the post-election audit, election officials randomly select five percent but not more than five hundred actual ballots that were tabulated on the selected optical ballot scanner during the election. The public counter on the machine is reset to zero and the ballots are recounted. A new report is then generated and the ballots are hand-tallied and compared to the report. The same process applies to the touch screen voting machines and the hand tallies are compared to the results from the paper audit trail from each printer.
The Post-Election Audit Testing is observed by at least two members of the Denver Canvass Board. In the event any discrepancies are discovered during the testing, the members of the Canvass Board verify the results as many times as necessary and check for possible voter error, such as stray marks, to clear up the discrepancies. Once the testing is complete, the Denver Elections Division will submit a report to the Secretary of State that includes the results of the audit, including the specific machines tested and their serial numbers.