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News Archive

October 21, 2016

Media Contact:

Mircalla Wozniak, Communications Specialist, 303.413.7766

Boulder County equipment testing completed for 2016 General Election

Boulder County, Colo. -- Representatives
from the local Democratic and Republican parties signed off on the completed
Logic and Accuracy test today and confirmed the equipment’s ability to properly
read ballots and correctly tabulate votes. Voters have already begun to return mail
ballots, however, scanning of ballots does not begin until next week.




The testing took longer than expected, as during the initial testing there were
four single instances out of more than 278,000 individual voted contests, where
there was an anomaly with a marked vote that the election scanners did not pick
up. It was determined that the cause was that the box was not properly marked and
marked too lightly with an unusually-hued pen causing too few pixels to be read by
the scanner.




“While the anomaly found of 4 out of 278,000 plus marked votes generates an error rate
of far less than a one hundredth of a percent (.000014), our job at the
election division is to make sure everyone has confidence in the system and
that intended votes are getting accurately captured,” stated Hillary Hall,
Boulder County Clerk & Recorder. “Thus, to be cautious, we notified the
Secretary of State’s office, and requested that the bipartisan testing board allow
for additional time to determine whether the scanning equipment needed setting
modifications or if enhanced visual inspection steps were needed.”




After working closely with our election vendors, and after our own initial testing, our
office determined the best course of action was to adjust our scanner setting
to a more sensitive setting. We then conducted additional testing to make sure
this change would not introduce any unexpected consequences, such as increasing
the opportunity for dust or smudge marks on a ballot to be captured as a vote.




This past Wednesday and Thursday the elections
staff and the bi-partisan test board scanned a batch of approximately 2,900
test ballots (same ballots which were tested previously during the Logic and Accuracy Test), which
included the four ballots with the original marks that caused the issue. We ran
this same batch of ballots three times using various scanners in order to
ensure consistent results. An additional 1,800 test ballots from previous
testing were also run to further reconfirm no unexpected impacts. Party
representatives were on hand for the duration of this additional testing.




After participating in this effort and observing consistent scan results, the
bi-partisan testing board for the Logic and Accuracy test (LAT), completed sign off on
all the voting equipment on Friday, Oct. 21.




In regard to the bi-partisan testing board, Clerk Hall stated, “I thank the bi-partisan
test board members for being a true partner with our elections office in
identifying and determining a fast resolution to the issue we found. The Logic
and Accuracy Test is a critical part of our elections process to make sure
our equipment is working properly, and we appreciated the extra time and
diligence they took with us to make sure we had the best outcome possible to
ensure our votes are captured accurately.”




It should be noted that the LAT process also confirmed ballots are properly
printed for the election and the equipment is accurately calibrated to process
ballots. Each type of ballot and all ballot styles were tested.




Each piece of equipment used during the LAT has been cleared of test votes and reset
to zero, ensuring the equipment is ready to count live ballots for the General
Election.