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Re: Investigation of Volusia's Memory Cards.

John McLaurin wrote:
 I guess there are two items that I would like to be able to
say to Volusia and other FL Counties.

 1) we've put something in place that will prevent a poll
worker who gets a "check sum error" from restarting the AVOS
unit without going through supervisor functions.  What
caused all the media hype is that the poll worker was able
to reset the unit and hence missed recounting the original

  John, I'm taking this to support because these suggestions/questions are something that we all face.

1. If you're advocating a change to the AVOS firmware, you *should* discuss this on the support list and once you (or whoever) have determined how it should be implemented, it should be posted as an RCR.

2. Just to ensure that we're speaking the same language, the term "CHECKSUM ERROR" is from the AVOS audit log report.  I would prefer to call this event as "corrupted counters" because, for reasons that will likely never be known, the AV detected that the vote counters stored on the memory card were not in order.  In fact the AVOS checks several types of redundancy in the counters and could find a problem even if the sums checked out properly.  The user (probably a voter) on feeding a ballot in count mode AFTER the counters have been corrupted would be prompted with "CORRUPT COUNT SEE OFFICIAL" and the unit would return the ballot and stop functioning.  The reason that this happens after is that we use some of the time that we're waiting for the ballot to be scanned to run a check of the memory card and so any problem found was probably caused by an earlier event such as the previous ballot.

  The above forces the AV to be reset (power cycled).  If the error was not transient (likely it wasn't because some time ago we programmed it to double check the problem before locking up), then the AV will prompt "COUNTER ERROR OK TO CONTINUE?" and then "CLEAR COUNTERS AND RECOUNT?".  One vote center in Volusia quietly did clear the counters but failed to recount the previously processed ballots.

  If may be entirely reasonable that we would want to prompt for the supervisor password before actually allowing the counters to be reset but I'm not convinced that this would have prevented the situation.  It seems that the poll workers there were just doing things on their own and would have entered the password and continued.  Maybe not.  The critical failing is that they did not report the problem.  What do others think?

 I understand that in election mode this is
impossible, we need to make it so for this type of error as
well. Hopefully that would not require a certification
  This all occurred in election mode.  I think you are trying to say that normally you cannot clear the counters in election mode without using the supervisor password.  The current method of handling corrupt counters is an exception to that rule.

 All firmware and software changes require a certification review, ESPECIALLY IN FLORIDA.  Florida does their own state certification review.

 2) If we can, we need to be able to tell Volusia why this
happened on four different memory cards.  Check Sum Errors
are rare in my history with Global, even more rare for the
customer base I believe . I need a non-techie, in plain
English , a few short sentences at most, on why it
happened.  In Volusia they and the review committee are
still waiting on an answer.
  I suspect that you are referring specifically to counter corruptions because checksum errors and other memory card problems are not very rare at all.  Does anyone care to try to compose a non-techie explanation as to what could have caused this?