Election Security Provisions

Election Security Provisions in Duval County  
For more information on Florida's Election Integrity, go to the Division of Elections website.

OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS
 

ELECTION SECURITY PROVISIONS IN DUVAL COUNTY

The loss of voter confidence in the integrity of elections in our great country is a serious problem. Provided below you will find some of the security protocols we perform to protect the accuracy of the vote in Florida:

The Secretary of State employs a fulltime Cybersecurity Staff who work with Homeland Security, the FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and all 67 of Florida’s Supervisors of Elections which gives us tremendous ability to protect against hacking attempts. In addition, the Secretary of State’s office employs a Staff of election equipment professionals who must rigorously test and certify any election equipment before it can be purchased by any Supervisor of Elections in Florida (I believe we are one of a very few states that has that kind of staff “in house”).

Duval County utilizes tabulators manufactured by ES&S an American company. Our tabulators are called DS200, and we own 299 units. Before every Election my IT staff checks every one of our DS200’s to make sure their counts are accurate - which requires that the tabulators start with a “zero” report then they must correctly tabulate a test deck of ballots that will be used in that distinct precinct and then they close their test with a “zero” report. This ensures our tabulator can “count” accurately and the Zero report insures the Tabulator doesn’t retain any results from prior elections.  If the DS200 works correctly it is locked, sealed, and stored in our secured facility which is equipped with 24-hour camera surveillance and electronic door access. If it fails to perform properly it is repaired and retested, then locked and sealed.

As required by Florida law, we perform a Pre-Election Audit to verify the accuracy of our tabulation equipment. This Audit is called a Public Logic and Accuracy (L&A) Test. This test is performed before each election.  The L&A testing test date is advertised 2 weeks before the test will be performed and is done in public, anyone can attend. The test must be observed and verified by the Duval County Canvassing Board. There are three Canvassing Board members: 1. The City Council President or their designee, 2. A County Judge appointed by the Chief Judge and 3. The Supervisor of Elections. The test requires we pull randomly select from our inventory of 299 Tabulators (DS200’s). We randomly pull one from each of our 14 City Council Districts, and one (1) from an early voting site. We also test all four (4) of our high-speed tabulators which are used for mail ballot tabulation and recounts.

To start the L&A we cut the seal and unlock all the tabulators that are to be tested. We then power up all the tabulators and have them print a count report – the count must be ZERO. The Zero count report is initialed by each member of the Canvassing Board, and we archive the printed receipt. We then feed each one of the tabulators with a known specific number of marked ballots which are shown to the Canvassing Board members. The tabulation results must be 100% accurate. Again, all members of the Canvassing Board must initial each of the tabulator’s count report. We then erase the tabulator’s count memory and ask for another count report. This report must be “zero”. Again, each Canvassing Board member must initial the zero report. Then the randomly tested tabulators are locked and sealed and returned to their positions in our warehouse. The obvious purpose of this testing is to determine the reliability and accuracy of the equipment.

The DS200’s are transported to the Precincts and locked up in a secured room. Because the tabulator has been transported to another site (precinct) on Election morning the first thing the Precinct Manager and at least one other Poll Worker (not of the same Party) must do, is to cut the seal, unlock the DS200 and plug it into a power outlet. Then they must run a count report, which again must be zero, they must sign and save this receipt for return to the Election Center after the Poll closes. 

On Election Day we have multiple methods to verify that our cast and credits balance:
 
1. All voters are processed in by an Electronic Voter ID (EVid) computer which records and prints a receipt for every voter who is processed at an early voting site or precinct. The EVid transmits that data to the Election Center all day giving us a count of the number of voters (not a vote count) who have visited that precinct and received a ballot. At the end of voting, we can then compare the number of voters signed in with the number of ballots cast.
2. The voter takes their ballot receipt to the next station. At that station they will give their receipt to our Poll Worker who will give them the proper ballot on which to vote. Those receipts are kept and can be hand counted if an audit is required or we suspect something is wrong. 
3.  At this same station where all the ballots are kept, we have another audit point as the ballot pads have a stub that is numbered which enables us to have another source to verify against - how many ballots were sent out and how many have not been used.
4. The DS200 tabulates paper ballots, so the record of every ballot cast is kept in the locked DS200.
5. At the end of voting Election Day, the DS200 prints two results tapes. One copy is placed on the door to the polling room and the second copy is sent to the Election Center. 
6. The DS200 has two sources of memory, one thumb drive, and a on board computer. When the Polls close each Precinct manager will pull the thumb drive and transmits the results to the Election Center. We do not transmit data during the time of voting. When we do transmit after the Polls have closed, we do so on a private network utilizing microburst speed.

Each of these audit points can be independently verified, the tape can be compared to the results transmitted; the results can be compared to the number of paper ballots, the EV ballot receipts, the ballot stubs, and the thumb drive to the onboard computer, all to ensure that the election results were not tampered with.

And finally, after every election, to ensure the accuracy and veracity of the results, Florida law requires that we perform a Post-Election Audit. This Audit is Publicly Noticed, and the public is invited to attend. The audit requires that we randomly select one of the races on the ballot and depending on the race we must randomly pull one or more precinct(s). We then must hand count those ballots and compare the machine results with the hand count.

There are other security protocols and procedures that we hold in confidence. Accuracy is job one.
   
Mike Hogan                                  
Duval County Supervisor of Elections                                              
105 E. Monroe St. Jacksonville, FL 32202
(904) 255-3444    www.DuvalElections.com