Monday, September 18, 2006

Clarification requested on HART equipment certification

From: Al Kolwicz
Sent: Monday, September 18, 2006 11:28 AM
To: Gigi Dennis (
Cc: Canvass Board Group (; Mike Coffman (; Ken Gordon (; Dean Schooler
Subject: Clarification requested on HART equipment certification

Dear Ms. Dennis.

Your office has certified that the HART InterCivic paper ballot system works with or without ballot stubs, and with or without non-removable unique ballot identifiers (serial numbers in the form of bar codes and/or printed digits).

Boulder County says that they cannot use ballots without permanent unique identifiers because the HART system does not support them, and the Secretary of State does not require them. Boulder County maintains that the HART system does not work without permanent unique identifiers. (1) They say that the HART optical scanning system requires that multi-page paper ballots must be read sequentially (all pages of a single voter’s ballot read before the next voter’s ballot). (2) They say that without a non-removable identifier, it is not possible to arrange each ballot’s ballot pages into sets. Further, Boulder County says that a non-removable identifier is required to locate a ballot in a batch (for duplication purposes, for example).

If what Boulder County says is true, the HART system contains defects that should have been detected by your certification testing. Both of the defects identified by Boulder County (above) should have been repaired before the system was certified. Defect #1 should be repaired by eliminating the requirement that ballot pages be organized into sets. This is an undesirable requirement that serves no valid purpose. Would the HART system VOID an entire multi-page ballot if one of the pages is missing? If so, under what authority? Defect #2 should be eliminated by requiring that every anonymous ballot page be endorsed, after it has been cast by the voter and before the scanned image is recorded, with a unique identifier containing the following: Batch-ID, Item-number within the batch, Date-processed, Time-processed, Machine-ID.

On the other hand, if Boulder County is not true, then you have found a way to use the HART system that does not require non-removable unique ballot identifiers.

We would like you to confirm, did you certify that the HART optical scan system does in fact work when the ballot identifiers are recorded on stubs which are removed before the ballot is cast? If so, will you please explain to Boulder County how this is done? If not, will you please retract your certification of this feature?

Thank you.