Key Considerations: Election Day (Set-up, Testing, Security, Troubleshooting)

Last updated on December 17, 2013

For Implementing Bodies 

  • Are a sufficient number of technicians available to provide assistance, either on the premises, on call or via telephone hotlines should officials have any problems with the set-up, initialization and function of voting and counting equipment?
  • Are specific procedures and contingency plans in place for the possibility that a voting or counting machine does not work and cannot be fixed?
  • Is it clear who has access to machines in any given situation, and is there a process for properly documenting any access in the polling station protocol?
  • Will safeguards such as authentication codes and tamper proof seals be used on any external ports?
  • Are closing procedures to be carried out by polling officials clearly defined with the relevant command to close voting or counting on each machine?
  • If individual tally sheets are produced, will the results be aggregated into a polling station results protocol?

For Oversight Actors 

  • How have observer groups and political parties had to change their election day strategies to effectively monitor new technologies on election day? Do they have the necessary technical expertise?
  • Are machines secure during and after the transfer from storage to the polling location until voting starts?  Are observers permitted to observe the delivery of equipment? 
  • Is there a demonstration to show that no votes have been recorded in the machine prior to the start of voting? 
  • Do polling officials follow procedures for set-up, processing of voters and closing the polling station, and do observers have access to all of these processes? 
  • Is secrecy of the vote ensured, both through the polling station arrangement and the way that assistance is offered to voters? 
  • If problems with equipment arise, are polling officials or authorized technicians capable of resolving them efficiently, according to procedures, and without interrupting the voting process?
  • Is access to the equipment and sensitive materials sufficiently secure, controlled and recorded? 
  • How accessible and usable are electronic machines for voters? In particular, what are the experiences of special groups, such as disabled, elderly, illiterate or minority language voters?
  • Are printouts for each voting or counting machine posted outside the polling station, together with the overall results protocol for the polling station? Are party representatives and observers given copies of results printouts or at least permitted to copy the figures? 
  • Are electronic voting and counting machines activity logs available for observers?  
  • How has the implementation of new technologies affected the conduct of voting?  Have any new problems been introduced that were unforeseen, and if so, how did the EMB respond?
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