c/o 3548 Beechwood Boulevard
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15217-2767
November 13, 2006
Allegheny County Board of Elections
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219
Honorable Gentlemen of the Board of Elections:
You have received today draft reports which VoteAllegheny is producing pursuant to our observations over the past several weeks. We will provide you with more complete versions and more comprehensive reporting as we finalize our work.
As we collect our information, we find ourselves with questions. Those questions are outlined below. We ask the County to respond to them, please, as soon as practicable.
1. How often do county personnel insert unsecured flash drives into the systems?
2. How often do drastic failures of the type observed with Upper St Clair 4-3 occur?
3. How many PEBs went missing on election night and how many 'extra' PEBs were returned? And what is the explanation for the extra PEBs?
4. What is the proper procedure for dealing with people who show up at the wrong precinct and want to vote? What means are used to find their polling place or allow them to vote locally?
5. In the case where a Judge of Elections does not believe a voter deserves a provisional ballot how is the law applied in Allegheny County?
6. Were the ES&S representatives sworn in on election night? If so, were they required to submit written affidavits or other form of written representation?
7. Were the roving tech-support personnel sworn in on election day?
8. How will the process that was employed in this election change in future elections?
9. How many iVotronics, PEBs, and/or systems will require repair or replacement after this election? How much is this repair expected to cost? How does this differ from the May primary?
10. What is the monetary cost for such a high level of ES&S personnel support during the election? Is this cost factored into the county's existing contract or is it a separate fee based on specific tasks such as tabulation, canvassing, etc.?
11. Please describe the chain of custody of machines – from the warehouse, what is the journey of the iVotronics, and also from the polling places what is the journey of any absentee ballots and other paper?
12. Why has the County discontinued counting the absentee ballots by hand in the precincts – if the County continued that practice and then also were to scan the ballots and compare the two, it would act as an extra check, and also would provide additional information on the Return Sheet to the voters in that precinct.
13. What were the results of the parallel testing? How many machines were tested? Please give details of the entire process and also details of the results. Please include who performed the parallel testing, and where.
14. What precincts faced a power outage on election day? Of those precincts how many of their iVotronics failed or were damaged because of it?
15. What happened in certain traditionally targeted neighborhoods? Was there a power failure in the Hill District? If so, what happened to the battery backup of the iVotronics? What happened in Homewood? What happened in Lincoln-Lemmington? Where there other similar neighborhoods afflicted with problems?
16. Would the County be willing to impound the machine from the precinct in which a voter has claimed vote-jumping occurred?
17. Which system components failed in Upper St. Clair 4-3?
18. For each component which failed in Upper St. Clair, how many other failures of that type occurred on Election Day?
19. How long did the mechanic spend at 4‑3 trying to extract the votes? Why was it not possible for the votes to be extracted at the precinct? What procedures were tried?
20. Please describe how the various voting system components were transported from the polling place at 4‑3 and votes eventually extracted.
21. Did the Minority Inspector at 4‑3 receive the archival copy of the election results on the night of the election? If not, has this happened yet?
22. Was the mechanic attending the 4‑3 matter a full-time County employee, a contractor, or some other relationship?
23. If a similar failure were to occur in the future, what will the chain of custody be like? Shouldn't one of the poll workers from the precinct be involved in custody of the machines?
24. Channel 4 reported “when a reporter asked if poll workers had been adequately trained to use the new equipment, Onorato said, ‘Oh, absolutely. You have to put this in perspective. We have 4,700 new machines. Twenty-five of them had problems and they were corrected within the first two hours.’” Does this description include Upper St. Clair 4‑3? May we please have a list of those 25 machines to compare with our data?
25. Channel 4 also reported “’There was some human error at the beginning of the day. There was some technical, turning-them-on issues,’ Onorato said. ‘But overall, it worked – and it worked very well. In comparing to the old machines, it was much better of a day.’” In what ways was the day better? Please quantify the data – comparing with the old machines, how many worked, how many had issues, etc.?
26. How many polling places opened 30 minutes late? One hour late? Ninety minutes late? And where were they?
27. In how many polling places were emergency ballots used?
28. What is your estimate of the number of voters who left polling places without voting because of opening delays?
29. When will the Vigilant Minds network security report be made public?
30. At what point are the vote records and audit logs written out from the internal iVotronic storage to the PEBs and the compact flash storage? Are the votes accumulated in either location as voting occurs? Or are they written only on the close of Polls? In other words, are our votes stored in only one location on the machinesduring the day, with no backup until the end of the day?
31. When will the County be completely independent from the assistance of ES&S personnel? At what point will it no longer be necessary to rely on ES&S for support of the voting process?
32. We remain concerned with protecting the integrity of the vote and therefore are concerned with the integrity of the machines and systems. How will the County be training personnel to program and operate the machines? How will the County be assuring citizens of the verifiability of their vote?
These questions are, of course, additional to those contained in our letter dated November 2, 2006.
Thank you very much.