/ Categories: 2006

Limited Parallel Elections Program A Success

West Palm Beach, FL - November 13th, 2006 - A simulated polling place was implemented by Dr. Arthur Anderson, Supervisor of Elections, at the Supervisor of Elections Office (SOE) on Election Day for the county’s first ever limited parallel testing program. This study was done without bias, in conjunction with the Brennan Institute for Justice and independent consulting firm JBS Associates, to show the integrity and reliability of the Sequoia voting machines. The Palm Beach County Supervisor of Elections is the first elections office in Florida and one of only a few in the country to request this program be done in their county.

The secured mock polling location was set up from 7am to 7pm on Tuesday November 7th using 22 machines and 468 “scripts” to cast votes on each machine by the parallel election committee members, (comprised of SOE staff, political party representatives and co-chaired by Dr. Don Kerbis and Pam Goodman from the League of Women Voters,) throughout the day for a total of 12,796 votes. These numbers were chosen to represent 41.6% of the voting population in the county. They worked in teams: one member voting, one observing and one signing off that they voted according to each script after completing their assigned random ballot. Every minute was recorded on film by professional independent videographers so the group could go back and look for errors if there were discrepancies during the review process. 

The ballots and candidates were selected at random by JBS Associates. A variety of scripts for the committee to follow were also written and provided by Jocelyn Whitney, known to those in the industry as the mother of parallel elections. Human error was intentionally written into the scripts. When the poll closed, all cartridges from the Sequoia Edge AVC™ voting unit and video tapes were put under lock and key in a secured vault until the results could be tabulated and the consultants had a chance to review and analyze them. 

After a meticulous review of each script from each machine, it was concluded that no discrepancies in the tabulation function of voting units tested were evident. “This should offer the best evidence yet that the voting system being used in Palm Beach County is reliable and accurately records votes as the voter intends,” said Elections Supervisor, Dr. Anderson. “I hope that by having our county participate in the limited parallel elections program and seeing the flawless, unbiased results, the constituents will have confidence in our electoral process and head to the polls during election time,” he said.
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Wendy Sartory Link
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