More on Travis County "L+A" testing

As promised recently, here is more analysis of our visit to Travis County, Texas. We’ve got a few additional photos and some additional comments regarding the “logic and accuracy” testing we witnessed there last week.

First, here is a photo of the voting machines, stored in their cases and in a rolling rack, in their facility. Again, as we noted earlier, the voting machines had been moved into this location in their facility (typically they are spread through the space in the photograph, with aisles separating the racks) as a cautionary move to avoid any potential damage from Hurricane Rita. Travis County Elections Division Manager Gail Fisher is in the photo, and she was a source of a great deal of information during our visit.

Next, this is a photo of the “test voters” doing the L+A test, here the two people seated at the table. The man on the left is using the judge’s station, the woman on the right has the Hart eSlate voting device in front of her (and she appears to be using the audio headset). The rest of the folks in the photo are either observers, election officials, or participants in the testing. Here we have another photo of the same testing team, but from another perspective.

Now we have a photo of both voting teams.

Then, we move to the room housing the computer system (not connected to any network) that read the voting data from the media taken out of the voting machines. The man at the computer here is reading the media card and generating the tabulation report for the L+A test.

To reiterate an observation we made in an earlier post about our Travis County visit, they have a strong physical security model in place. Access to the room where this mission-critical computer is located is highly restricted and logged, and again, the computer in this room was not connected to any network.

What we don’t know is how physical security is implemented in other election jurisdictions; for example, we don’t know of any systematic collection of information from election officials regarding what type of security models they utilize nor how they are implemented. Such data might be critical to collect in upcoming elections, as they can serve as important practical data for election officials to utilize, and could form the basis for some analysis of best practices in this area. Many data elements that might be important to collect regarding these types of security issues can be seen in a report the Caltech/MIT VTP issued last summer on “Insuring the Integrity of the Electoral Process.”