ES&S Review of Richland County, SC General Election
The purpose of this document is to provide an initial review and analysis of the votetabulation issue reported to ES&S by Richland County, South Carolina during the 2012General Election.
The audience for this document is the Richland County Election Commission and otherinterested parties.
Richland County participated in the South Carolina General Election on Tuesday, November6, 2012. Richland County uses an ES&S M650 Central Count Tabulator to process paperballots. On November 7
, ES&S received a report from our partner, PrintElect, that RichlandCounty had requested their assistance in troubleshooting a ballot counting issue. Printelectsent two technicians onsite with a backup M650 unit to review the problem. Upon arrivalthey determined that it was not a hardware issue but rather an issue with the databasecoding. At this time ES&S contacted the State and the County to offer assistance. At therequest of the county, ES&S dispatched two software technicians to Richland County toprovide assistance. The following report reflects the findings of these software techniciansto date.
The initial analysis provided within this document has been developed from the informationwhich ES&S obtained beginning Friday, November 9
, 2012 through Monday November11
2012.ES&S conducted a call with the county on November 9
to seek detailed informationregarding the issues which were experienced. At the conclusion of that call, ES&Srequested and obtained coding files from the County, a PDF of the ballots sent to theircommercial printer, Another Printer, and a copy of an un-voted ballot on site. It wasdetermined that the oval positions between the un-voted ballot and the ballots in the PDF filedid not match. At that time the county asked for ES&S to come onsite for further analysis.On Saturday, November 10
, ES&S technicians arrived and determined that the electiondefinition (Database 1) had multiple discrepancies with oval positions. It is ES&S’understanding the technicians from PrintElect as well as the SEC were on site to helpassess the situation on November 9
.ES&S technicians backed up Database1 prior to taking any actions. They then printeddetailed reports of oval positions for each ballot style from Database 1, and manuallyreviewed them against the un-voted physical ballots from their commercial printer, AnotherPrinter, that were available. During this review, ES&S identified ballot styles printed fromBallot on Demand (BOD) did not match the oval positions of the commercially printedballots. The technicians determined that BOD ballots did not match due to a user changethat must have occurred after the ballots were sent to print. At that point, ES&S technicians