Pre-election Testing of the Ballots and Equipment
Boulder County Elections oversees strict testing and quality control of the ballot printing process. Our protocols go far beyond what is required by Secretary of State rule or state statute.
In addition to all the quality control we do while ballots are being printed, we are one of the only counties that uses live ballots during our pre-election testing of the ballots and equipment (every Colorado county performs a test called the Logic and Accuracy test before every election). This means we test vote on ballots pulled from the actual print run of ballots that will be mailed to voters, versus having the printer print a “separate test deck.” We then run the ballots through our scanners and use our voting system software to ensure everything is calibrated correctly and tabulating properly.
Examples of Ballot Printing Quality Control
Quality control processes conducted by Boulder County Election team members include (but are not limited to):
- Ballot print alignment: Making sure all ballot styles are correctly printed, using a see-through mylar overlay to inspect every portion of the ballot and make sure all the text and target boxes are where they should be.
- Checking print quality: Testing paper and print for ink adhesion, runs, smudges, etc.
- Checking fold lines: Making sure ballot fold lines are where they should be.
- Verifying ballot styles: Making sure the right ballot styles are being printed; that no files were mixed up/combined, etc.
- Checking for accurate ballot insertion to the right voter: Checking batches of ballots to make sure voters are receiving the correct ballot style and inserts.
This quality control work is done at the printer, prior to further testing of the ballots at our office through the ballot processing and voting system equipment.