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Description of Election Audits in South Carolina

A sucessful audit is be completed before the County Certifies the election. This audit assures that all the ballots have been counted as part of the tabulation process and that all iVotronic audit data has been collected from the flash cards that were intalled in each iVotronic voting machine prior to the election. As part of the certification process, provisional ballots that are accepted by the County are added to the totals and reported to the State Election Commission for Certification. After the county certifies the election, a second audit is performed before the State Election Commission certifies the election. These two audits may be performed by the County Election Officials or by the staff of the State Election Commission.

Votes cast via the iVotronic system are collected and tabulated in each county's election system which creates reports of the election results. Each of these iVotronic voting machines also stores the ballots cast in electronic audit trails completly seperate from the tabulation system. Paper ballots are optically scanned using ES&S scanners and their results loaded into the Unity election system from either a memory stick or a Zip drive, depending on the type of scanner used. The audit process compares the tabulated results of the election with the raw data collected in the electonic audit files by each iVotronic voting machine on a flash card. The State Election Commission has develped a series of computer applications written in the public domain language PERL that compares the tabulated returns reports with the raw audit data. If the audit application detects an anomoly it lists it in one or more audit report.

There are six electronic files generated by the Unity election system used in the audit process. These files are combined into a single zip file and included along with a PDF file of the audit reports for each election. Each of these files are text files and can be read with any text editor such as Notepad in the Windows operating systems, Emacs in unix/linux operating systems or TextEdit in the Apple operating systems.

* Manual Entries can be made in the rare case that data cannot be loaded into the voting system electronically by the PEBs from the iVotronic voting machines or the memory stick or Zip drive from the Optical scanners. Data manually entered can overwrite or add to data already present from the electronic transfer sources. Therefore manual entries should be used as a last resort only.

The audit process generates 5 reports.


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