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2012 Venezuela Regional Elections Dossier
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  • 1. Regional Election Venezuela 2012
  • 2. Table of Contents 2012 Venezuelan Regional Elections 2 Project scope and figures 3 Technology in Venezuelan elections 4 Technical audits 6 How do Venezuelans vote? 8 Noteworthy stories in the Venezuelan media 9 What are people saying about the Venezuelan voting system? 13 Citizen perception 13 Support for the voting system 13 01
  • 3. Venezuelan Regional Elections 2012On December 16 2012, Venezuelans elected 23 Governors and 237 Regional LegislativeCouncil Representatives. Depending on each state’s population, anywhere between 7 and15 legislators were chosen. In the context of this voting event, Smartmatic deployed itselectoral solution for the 11th time in the country, including services and equipment for a100% automated national election, from voter authentication to the tallying and divulgationof results.Country: Bolivarian Republic of VenezuelaCapital: CaracasEstimated population: 28,800,000Administrative division: 23 states, 1 Capital District and Federal DependenciesType of State: Decentralized Federal StateProject: 2012 Regional Elections (for the 2013-2016 term).Voter Registry: 17,421,946Polling stations: 12,784Electoral authority: Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) 02
  • 4. Project scope and figuresOn December 16, voters from 23 states chose their Governors and Legislative CouncilRepresentatives for the 2013-2016 term. The National Electoral Council had 17,421,946citizens registered to vote in 12,784 poll centers where 36,220 voting machines weredeployed.The main elements involved in the Regional Elections Project were the following: Automation of 100% of the polling stations Deployment of 4 voting machine models: SAES 3300, 4000, 4200 y 4300 Use of the VP-1500 e-ballot (55% of the polling stations will have two of these) Use of the voter biometric identification system Setup and distribution of over 42,897 voting machinesSmartmatic was in charge of a number of tasks related to the election, some of whichwent beyond its technological aspects: 1. Selection, hiring and training of the field staff (Voting Machine Operators, Support Technicians, Information Station Operators, Contingency Transmission Center Operators, Totaling Technicians, Inventory Operators, Special Operators and National Support Center Operators), staff for the National Support Center (CNS), of the Regional Response Centers (CAR), Regional Coordinators and staff for the Pre- and Post-Event audits. 2. Operation of the National Support Center. 3. Furnishing and operation of the Fast Response Centers. 4. Assembly of the voting machines. 5. Supply and distribution of materials for the assembly of voting machines and other required materials/equipment. 6. Supply and distribution of batteries as backup power sources. 7. Installation of Contingency Transmission Centers. 8. Printing of manuals and protocols for the field staff. 9. Project management services and application of Smartmatic’s exclusive Project Methodology. 10. Control and follow-up of performance indicators. 11. Priming and distribution of over 42,897 voting machines for these events: operator training, voter information sessions, engineering test, voting drill and the elections. 03
  • 5. Scope of the 2012 Regional Elections CATEGORY NUMBER Polling Centers 12,784 Regional Electoral Assemblies 24 Voting Machines 36,220 CTC Machines (Contingency Transmission Centers) 711 Contingency Machines 5,966Technology in Venezuelan electionsVenezuela set the trend in e-voting by becoming the first country in the world to fullyautomate an election. Several tools were used to accomplish this during the October 7,2012 Presidential Elections, including monitoring software, the automatic generation ofvoting instruments, and the publication of results; and hardware such as biometricidentification devices for voters, data entry electronic ballots, and voting machines proper.I. Voting machines (SAES-4000 series)Latest-generation voting machines with a touch screen, extensions for e-ballots andcompatible with the voter biometric authentication system (SAI). 100% auditable. The vote is registered several times, uses redundant storage. Votes are encrypted with 256-bit symmetrical algorithms. Integrated printer for vote vouchers, precinct counts, and voting logs. “Unblock” button to activate the voting session. Secure unidirectional data transmission through networks (LAN, phone lines, GSM, CDMA and satellite). Accessibility module for visually impaired voters. External power backup system, functional for up to 8 hours. Portable protecting case made from ultra resistant materials. 04
  • 6. II. Voter biometric identification systemEach voting machine has an accompanying biometric authentication device used to activatesessions. Every voter must be authenticated through his/her fingerprint in order to unlockthe voting machine. Color screen to display instructions and voter information, including the voter’s photograph. Support area to place the voter’s ID card. Integrated fingerprint reader to capture the voter’s biometric information. Keypad with touch and auditory sensitivity. LED lights to indicate the status of processes. Buzzer to indicate the start and end of processes.III. VP-1500 E-ballot Large, spacious ballot size and internal membranes. The voter can press upon the party’s logo, the candidate’s name or picture: whole areas, not small ovals. LED indicators for a visual confirmation of the voter’s choice(s).IV. Election Management System (EMS) Allows the definition and configuration of the election (it is fed with data provided by the CNE regarding eligible posts, candidates and political parties). Generates the configuration files for each voting machine being deployed. Contributes to the generation of reports and legal documents with the results of the systems performance evaluation.V. Real-Time Electoral Information System (REIS) Displays partial results and final election bulletins, supports all categories of electoral formulas, from the simplest (referenda, for instance) to the most complex vote aggregation methods to yield final results, including single-winner and multiple-winner, as well as majority rule and proportional representation methods.VI. Election Day Management Platform (EDMP) A software to control the attendance of technicians and operators who have the mission to deploy the voting machines, supporting real-time monitoring of the opening, closure, transmission, and audit of the 36,220 polling booths, and also the support incidents during Election Day. 05
  • 7. Technical auditsIn Venezuela, as a rule the voting system is audited before, during and after each election.For the 2012 Regional Election, the electoral authorities organized several evaluationsof the software and hardware of the voting machines, as well as of the transmissionand tallying of the votes. Technical representatives of all political parties participated inall these audits.For these Regional Elections, the following stringent tests were completed: Audit toward the Certification of the Software in the Voting Machines (November 05 to 07) During this source code audit, it was verified that the software installed in the voting machines is the correct one; it was also certified that the software registers, tallies and transmits the votes correctly. Audit toward the Tallying Software Certification (November 28 to 30) In this audit, the political organizations checked the counting system, its components, source code and digital signature. Audit to the Biometric System (October 29 to November 02) During this audit, it was verified that there’s no relation between the fingerprint capture process and the sequence in which votes are registered, enforcing the constitutional mandate for the secrecy of the vote and the “one man, one vote principle”. This audit also included the modules that make up the voting system, and the application’s digital signature was generated. Audit of the priming of the voting machines (November 10 to December 10) Representatives of all political parties and CNE technicians verified that the voting machines were configured with the software code certified in the previous audit. Audit of the voting infrastructure (December 03 and 04) This audit checks the technological platform of the voting machines and their structure. To this end, a voting machine is disassembled in front of representatives of the political parties, so its components can be observed and it can be ascertained that they are all indispensable for the voting to take place, meaning there are no secondary or superfluous elements that might perform tasks unrelated or not required by the voting process. Pre-dispatch audit (December 09) Completely reformulated, this new mock run audit is a replica of the electoral process. This test was conducted one week before the election with 1,400 voters that used a group of voting machines selected at random. 06
  • 8. Post-voting audit (December 29)Replay of the closing audit, where the representatives of the political parties verifythe ballot boxes, counting once again the vouchers contained therein. These resultsare compared to those produced by the voting machines tallying software and arecertified by the political parties.Other audits and tests Full Regional Election Audits or “Audit for citizen verification” (December 16) 07
  • 9. How do Venezuelans vote?The voting process in its entirety comprises activities of the highest automation level,including the biometric authentication of the voters, automated voting, tallying, collectionand totalization of results, and the proclamation of the winning candidate. 1. Upon arriving at the 2. Once the voter’s ID polling center, the voter number is entered in the SAI, must provide his ID card the biographic information to a polling station member of the voter appears on so his personal data is screen, including a face searched in the Integrated picture which enables Authentication System visual identification. (SAI) database. 4. Once the voter’s identity 3. The SAI device then is verified, he proceeds to reads the voter’s fingerprint, the voting machine. The which is checked against machine operator presses the system’s database the activation button and the voting act proper begins. 5. The voter uses the e-ballot; he finds the candidates or 6. Once the option has been political party of his choice. selected, the voter must The voter makes his selection, verify his choice on the or select the candidate (s) screen of the voting machine. of his/her preference. 8. The machine prints a voting voucher reflecting 7. The voter must confirm the voter’s choice, which his choice by pressing he/she should verify. “VOTE” on the screen, Then, he/she must deposit casting his vote. it into the ballot box to end the process. 08
  • 10. Noteworthy stories in the Venezuelan mediaVenezuela: E-voting used to elect 260 offices | 17.12.2012For the second time this year, Venezuelan voters exercised their right to elect StateGovernors and representatives to Legislative Councils through a sophisticatedelectronic e-voting system that enabled electoral authorities to announce the officialresults in only 3 hours after the polls closed.http://www.smartmatic.org/view/article/venezuela-e-voting-used-to-elect-260-offices/BBCHugo Chavez allies win 20 of 23 Venezuela governorships | 17.12.2012The opposition coalition held on to two key states, including Miranda, where HenriqueCapriles was re-elected. Sundays poll took place amid uncertainty over the health ofMr Chavez, who is in Cuba recovering from cancer surgery. Socialist Party leadersurged voters to turn out in support of the president.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20745262El Universal:67% of citizens trust election results | 12.14.2012"Do you consider that the electoral results are credible?" According to pollsterDatanálisis, 67% of citizens answered ‘yes’ to this question, while only 23% mistruststhe announcements from the electoral organism. The poll, carried out during the lastweek of November with a national sample of 1300 people in their homes, shows that65.8% of voters trusts Smartmatic voting machines, while 27.6% of those questioneddo not.http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/121214/67-de-ciudadanos-confian-en-los-resultados-electoralesPrensa Latina: Logistic deployment for Venezuelan elections underway | 12.11.2012The Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) is working on last minute details toensure the logistical success and efficient execution of the regional elections scheduledfor next Sunday. Five days from the elections, in which 23 governors and 260 depu-ties of the Regional Legislative Councils will be elected, the 36,220 voting machineshave been already deployed and will be installed for the use of potentially 17,421,946voters.http://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&idioma=1&id=794841&Itemid=1CNEVoting machines to be used on December 16 were audited by the CNE and the politicalparties 12.09.2012The National Electoral Council carried out the pre-dispatch audit of the voting machineslast Sunday, December 9. Technicians and members of the political parties tested allthe phases of the automated voting process (biometric identification of the voter, useof the e-ballot equipped with a touch sensitive membrane, the act of voting, tallying,totaling and transmission of results), with the objective of testing and certifying eachtechnical element of the regional elections.http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/sala_prensa/noticia_detallada.php?id=3077 09
  • 11. Últimas Noticias634 observers will be present in the country | 12.05.2012634 observers will be distributed all over the country to monitor the December 16elections. The quota will be filled by 5 organizations qualified to oversee the votingprocess. The National Electoral Council announced that the accredited organizationswill be Observatorio Electoral Venezolano, Fundación por un Pueblo Digno, Red deObservadores Electorales de Venezuela, Red de Observación Electoral de la Asambleade Educación and Proyecto Social.http://epaper.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/impresodigital/xml_epaper/Ultimas_Noticias/05_12_2012/pla_74_Caracas/xml_arts/art_5132350.xmlÚltimas NoticiasCNE readies voting machines without setbacks | 11.29.2012100% of the voting machines to be used in the December 16 Regional Elections willbe ready next week. In total, the National Electoral Council has designed a platform of32,220 machines installed in the same number of polling stations, which will bedistributed among 12,784 polling centers. Additionally, the manufacture of an extra20% is contemplated for contingency purposes.http://epaper.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/impresodigital/xml_epaper/Ultimas_Noticias/29_11_2012/pla_74_Caracas/xml_arts/art_5120976.xmlGrupo La Colina VenezuelaManual voting or E-voting? | 11.28.2012Voting in Venezuela has been automated since 1998. This was the result of pressurefrom the civil society, which resulted in the Organic Law for Voting and PoliticalParticipation being signed in 1997. Article 154 of the law clearly states that “the votingprocess, tallying, totaling and adjudication of the winners will be fully automated”.http://grupolacolina.blogspot.com/2012/11/venezuela-voto-manual-o-voto-electronico.htmlEl NacionalAudit of the voting machines’ software begins today | 11.28.2012The National Electoral Council will perform an audit of the voting machines’ softwarebetween today and Friday. These machines will be used in the December 16 RegionalElections. This revision, which includes technicians from the political parties, is meantto validate the operation of the software installed in the voting machines, certifyingthat there are no alterations.http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/Hoy-comienza-auditoria-software-maquinas_0_89393260.htmlEl UniversalSocorro Hernández: CNE works to motivate a 100% turnout | 11.21.2012Rector of the National Electoral Council Socorro Hernández denied this Wednesday thatthe agency is carrying out actions to demotivate the electorate, as it has been claimedby the opposition. “The work we do is towards a 100% turnout; we wouldn’t discouragethe voters; that would deny the purpose of our institution. We’d be happy with theturnout of October 7. We call all voters to participate in the Regional Elections as theydid for the Presidential Elections”, declared Hernández to Unión Radio.http://www.eluniversal.com/nacional-y-politica/elecciones-2012/121121/socorro-hernandez-cne-trabaja-para-motivar-el-100-de-la-participacion 10
  • 12. El NacionalCNE started assembly of voting machines for December 16 | 11.15.2012The National Electoral Council began yesterday the priming of voting machines for theDecember 16 Regional Elections. The process is taking place in the warehouses of theElectoral Power in Filas de Mariches, in the presence of representatives of all politicalparties. 36,200 machines will be deployed across all the country, with the exceptionof the Capital District, where there’ll be no voting.http://www.el-nacional.com/politica/CNE-inicio-produccion-maquinas-votacion_0_81594302.htmlPrensa LatinaPrensa Latina: Electoral referee fine-tunes preparations for Venezuelan elections| 11.14.2012Technicians from the National Electoral Council (CNE) and the political parties willbegin an audit of the priming of the voting machines today, as part of the preparationsfor the December 16 Regional Elections. When auditing, the representatives will checkthe data of the polling station tables (a correlation between the polling centers and itsstations), which specifies how many voters will be specified as the top limit of everymachine at every center.http://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&idioma=1&id=706331&Itemid=1Unión RadioMUD certifies audit to the voting machines’ software | 11.05.2012The first day of the audit of the voting machines software ended with a certificationby the technicians of the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD), a coalition of opposi-tion parties, who signed an agreement concluding all the revisions to the automatedvoting system. This audit checked the source code of the operating system used bythe voting machines to verify that the application performs the following taskscorrectly: selection, voting, adding the votes, totaling and transmitting the results. Theinvulnerability of the secrecy of the vote was also verified, certifying that there is nosequence between the order in which votes are cast and their storage in the votingmachine, ensuring the people’s will is respected.http://www.unionradio.net/actualidadur/nota/visornota.aspx?id=126808&tpCont=1&idSec=307Últimas NoticiasDecember 16: three to six votes per voter| 10.31.2012Three to six votes will be cast depending on the constituency. This is why the CNEhas taken measures to speed up the process, in the information stations that will bepresent in 5,000 polling stations. The agency stated that 12,784 polling stations willopen and will comprise a total of 36,220 polling stations, all of them automated withthe Integrated Authentication System.http://epaper.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/impresodigital/xml_epaper/Ultimas_Noticias/31_10_2012/pla_74_Caracas/xml_arts/art_5063577.xmlLa VerdadCNE and political parties will audit voting software for December 16 | 10.30.2012For the second time this year, the National Electoral Council (CNE) will review thesoftware installed in the voting machines to be used in the December 16 RegionalElections. Technicians from the CNE and the political parties have already checked thesoftware used for the presidential election and are gathering now to retest thesoftware for the upcoming elections. As it was explained in the previous election, thesoftware in the machine stores –in groups of five – the votes and ID numbers in 11
  • 13. different files, which are randomly stored in a permanent memory. This audit is one ofthe most important, since it involves the testing of the operating system of 36,220machines that will be used on December 16.http://www.laverdad.com/politica/10781-oev-no-habra-manera-de-que-alguien-distinto-al-elector-sepa-por-quien-voto.htmlÚltimas NoticiasCNE to perform 8 audits before Regional Elections | 10.29.2012The National Electoral Council (CNE) will start a series of audits today, with thepurpose of validating the transparency of the upcoming Regional Elections on Decem-ber 16. According to the schedule, revisions of the biometric system and the votingmachines are to follow shortly.http://epaper.ultimasnoticias.com.ve/impresodigital/xml_epaper/Ultimas_Noticias/29_10_2012/pla_74_Caracas/xml_arts/art_5059029.xml 12
  • 14. What are people saying about the Venezuelan voting system?Citizen perceptionA survey by Venezuelan pollster Datanálisis (2010 and 2012) reveals that: A full 95.1% of Venezuelan voters think that voting with Smartmatic machines is “easy” or “very easy”. 75% prefers e-voting over manual voting. Seven out of ten consider that Venezuela’s voting technology is among the most advanced in the world. 68% regard electoral results in Venezuela as reliable. 87% affirm to have voted using Smartmatic machines.Support of the voting system2012 has been, without a doubt, an election year of the biggest importance in Venezuela.Presidential Elections were held on October 7, an election with historic voter turnout: over80% of the population in the electoral roster went to the polls. The automated votingsystem was recognized by representatives of the public powers, directors of internationalNGO’s such as Unasur’s International Accompaniment Mission, and the Carter Center,whose founder and director, Jimmy Carter, stated that Venezuela has the best votingsystem in the world. “After having monitored 92 elections, I can say that Venezuelahas the best voting system in the world, since it facilitates the verification of results. Itallows the e-voting process and provides the backup of printed voting vouchers”, hedeclared.“After having monitored 92 elections, I can say that Venezuela has the best votingsystem in the world, since it makes verifying the electoral results easier. It allowselectronic voting and offers a physical, printed backup of the votes”. | Jimmy Carter,former President of the Untied States, leader and founder of the Carter Center | 09.19.2012“What we’ve verified is that Venezuela has one of the technologically strongest, mostadvanced, reliable and credible voting systems in Latin America. I think electronicvoting is more reliable, quicker, more user friendly and auditable than the manualprocedure”. | Carlos Álvarez, Chief of the international observation mission of the Union of SouthAmerican Nations (Unasur) | 10.05.2012“The Venezuelan voting system has a high technical level that surpasses the Europeanone”. | Antonio Hodgers. Member of the Swiss Parliament. | 10.09.2012“The results that were transmitted are truthful; they’re not the ones we expected, butthose are the results… We have 90% of the precinct counts, all catalogued, scannedand uploaded into a public system for the citizens to check”. | Leopoldo López,Coordinator of Electoral Witnesses of the Comando Venezuela, Mesa de la Unidad Democrática(Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties). 10.10.2012. 13
  • 15. Electronic voting preserves the will of the voter, from the time he casts his vote to theresult in the tallying report, as long as the system is implemented with high-securitydata techniques and properly audited software… Besides, the definitive official resultsof any elections can be broadcast to the public in only a few hours. | Mario Torre.Coordinator of the auditing team. Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (Venezuelan coalition ofopposition parties). 11.28.2012Precisely, the Carter Center remarked in their report about the past PresidentialElections that “the Venezuelan voting system is one of the most automated in theworld”, and highlighted the security offered by the voting machines, which had “thevalidation of technicians from the political parties, who took part in audits of theplatform, and have been witnesses to wins and losses in the past 5 national elections”.To read more about the report, click on the following link:http://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/venezuela-111512.html#spanishThe Venezuelan automated voting system was also recognized by the Chief of theMission of Electoral Observers of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur),Carlos Álvarez, who praised it and congratulated the Venezuelan people, who gave“a stunning demonstration of voting and commitment to democracy” during thePresidential Elections. For more information, watch the following video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUVdk8JU1RU. 14