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RE: Feedback from Maryland

Title: Message
See below.

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-support@dieboldes.com [mailto:owner-support@dieboldes.com] On Behalf Of Sue Page
Sent: November 12, 2002 2:13 PM
To: Support
Subject: Feedback from Maryland

Maryland had a terrific election on November 5.  5100 units were implemented in 500 precincts across 4 Counties.  Voter turnout was moderately heavy. The R6 units were enthusiastically received by the voters.

Montgomery County resolved all of their process issues that caused delayed openings and closings in the Primary.  They were 90% reporting by 10:00, and completed the election at 11:40 (missing only 4 PC Cards).  In fact, the 10:00 news showed the "Diebold" Counties as 60% of the early results, with those Counties consisting of only 40% of the voters.

We're working on a detailed report, which will be shared in the future.  For now, however, I wanted to capture the following issues/comments/suggestions:

1.  Party Designation on the Instructions and Summary Pages
One small issue kept the election from being "perfect" in Maryland.  There was one legislative district that retained the party designation from the Primary, rather than being changed to Non Partisan.  Unfortunately, there is no opportunity to catch this in the proofing process, unless you do a manual L&A (which is nearly impossible on 2600 units).  The "Test Count" does not display the Instruction page.  Is this a change that could be made on the front end? a.  Why is the Party designation on the Instruction page and the Summary page?  It is in the header of the ballot. b.  Why not eliminate the Instructions Page all together?  Post printed instructions in the booth.  (This would simplify many issues, such as changing TS Text, and hard coded info on this page.) c.  The Party designation has to be changed in every district between the Primary and the General, leaving many opportunities for failure.  Why not have one option that changes them all automatically?

This could have been caught by means of preliminary review of races and candidates in GEMS Pre-Election reports, as most, if not all of the race reports should list races with voter groups.  It is absolutely essential that these reports be reviewed in addition to the actual touch screen ballots.

2.  Write-Ins
Montgomery County's attorney insisted on capturing the write-in votes for the registered candidates - - by precinct.  Because this must be done on EACH PC CARD that includes a write-in vote for a registered candidate, this involved 4000 data entry edits.  2000 edits to remove the "other" votes, and 2000 entries to move the votes to the registered candidate. Is there a better way?

Don't write-in votes have to be captured by precinct in order to be able to report a correct precinct-based canvass?  Once all results have been upload from the AccuVote-TS units, the AccuVote-TS Write-In Report may be printed in order to list all write-in candidates by race, vote center, and report precinct.  After manually tallying write-in candidates by race and report precinct on the report, write-in candidates are entered by report precinct.

3.  Election Summary Report by Precinct
Maryland candidates are used to precinct level reporting.  There is no easy way to print the Election Summary report with all precincts, sorted by precinct.  Montgomery County had to initiate the printing of the Election Summary Report 227 times, each time selecting a different precinct.  They printed these reports after the election, after the canvas, and after the overseas ballots - altogether initiating 681 separate reports (and the same for the html file, which they posted to their web site). Perhaps this has already been improved in something beyond GEMS 1.17.17 - but if not . . .

Click on the Precinct radio button in the Election Summary Report radio button, select the desired precincts, click on the 'Sort Precincts by Name' check box, and click on Print.
Sue Page
Maryland Project Manager
Diebold Election Systems, Inc.
cell 443-404-9621