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ES&S Review of Richland County, SC General Election

Purpose The purpose of this document is to provide an initial review and analysis of the vote tabulation issue reported to ES&S by Richland County, South Carolina during the 2012 General Election. Audience The audience for this document is the Richland County Election Commission and other interested parties. Overview Richland County participated in the South Carolina General Election on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. Richland County uses an ES&S M650 Central Count Tabulator to process paper ballots. On November 7th, ES&S received a report from our partner, PrintElect, that Richland County had requested their assistance in troubleshooting a ballot counting issue. Printelect sent two technicians onsite with a backup M650 unit to review the problem. Upon arrival they determined that it was not a hardware issue but rather an issue with the database coding. At this time ES&S contacted the State and the County to offer assistance. At the request of the county, ES&S dispatched two software technicians to Richland County to provide assistance. The following report reflects the findings of these software technicians to date. ES&S Analysis The initial analysis provided within this document has been developed from the information which ES&S obtained beginning Friday, November 9th, 2012 through Monday November 11th 2012. ES&S conducted a call with the county on November 9th to seek detailed information regarding the issues which were experienced. At the conclusion of that call, ES&S requested and obtained coding files from the County, a PDF of the ballots sent to their commercial printer, Another Printer, and a copy of an un-voted ballot on site. It was determined that the oval positions between the un-voted ballot and the ballots in the PDF file did not match. At that time the county asked for ES&S to come onsite for further analysis. On Saturday, November 10th, ES&S technicians arrived and determined that the election definition (Database 1) had multiple discrepancies with oval positions. It is ES&S understanding the technicians from PrintElect as well as the SEC were on site to help assess the situation on November 9th. ES&S technicians backed up Database1 prior to taking any actions. They then printed detailed reports of oval positions for each ballot style from Database 1, and manually reviewed them against the un-voted physical ballots from their commercial printer, Another Printer, that were available. During this review, ES&S identified ballot styles printed from Ballot on Demand (BOD) did not match the oval positions of the commercially printed ballots. The technicians determined that BOD ballots did not match due to a user change that must have occurred after the ballots were sent to print. At that point, ES&S technicians

determined that it would be necessary to identify all discrepancies manually, and then correct the oval positions in Database 1 with approval from the County. No changes were made to Database 1. The ES&S resources only printed the necessary reports to identify the architecture of Database 1. While ES&S technicians were working on verifying Database 1, the County located a backup of the election definition (Database 2) that was sent to the State office in September. ES&S reviewed the contents of Database 2, and confirmed that the oval positions in Database 2 did match the un-voted commercially printed ballots. ES&S completed the verification of all oval positions in Database 2 by 7pm Saturday, November 10th. ES&S recommended and then created a separate election definition (Database 3) based on the oval positions from Database 2 that would match the un-voted commercially printed ballots. The ballots printed from Ballot on Demand (BOD) would have to be duplicated on commercially printed ballots in order to be tabulated. ES&S did not have any access to verify the actual voted Election Day ballots while onsite. On Sunday, November 11th, the County informed ES&S that two PDF files were sent to the printer, Another Printer. One was sent on September 18th, and another was sent on September 20th. ES&S confirmed that the positions in Database 2 and 3 matched the PDF file sent to the printer on September 20th. The County attempted to contact Another Printer in order to print enough additional blank ballots for ES&S to use in testing. As the County was unable to reach the printer, ES&S recommended that ballots be printed on site using the Countys Okidata 9300 printer in order to conduct the test. These ballots were printed directly from the PDF file that was sent to the printer on September 20th and verified to match the oval positions in Databases 2 and 3. ES&S proceeded testing with Database 3 and burned an M650 zip disk. ES&S manually marked a top/bottom test deck, and a straight party test deck using the ballots printed on site by ES&S from the PDF file sent to Another Printer on September 20th. No commercially printed ballots were used. All tests were successful based on ES&Ss verification of the artwork printed on the un-voted ballots that were made available. Please see separate attachments for audit logs from Hardware Programming Manager (HPM) for databases 1, 2 and 3. Next Steps and Recommendations The county will need to identify all voted ballots printed from BOD. Those ballots will need to be duplicated in accordance with County procedures on commercially printed ballots. In addition, the voted ballots must be verified to match Database 3 as ES&S has not had access to them. All ballots will need to be recounted on the M650 with Database 3 used in ES&S testing. We believe that from a technical standpoint Richland County understands the process that must be followed in order to accurately process ballots through the M650 and read those results into the ES&S Election Reporting Manager software. Before continuing with their canvass ES&S recommends that Richland County seek additional assistance from the SEC to be sure they understand any additional guidelines and procedures that must be followed to canvass their results properly.