Review of the House of Representative Electronic Voting System

FGMSD-79-60: Published: Aug 31, 1979. Publicly Released: Aug 31, 1979.

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To provide technical assistance in identifying any electronic or mechanical problem with the computerized House of Representatives' Electronic Voting System, GAO performed the following: an inspection of the equipment and its environment, an evaluation of its hardware and software, a review of the information developed by the House Information Systems staff regarding potential technical problems with the system, a review of the system's documentation, an evaluation of the operational procedures used to insure system reliability, a review of the controls over the production and issuance of identification cards to members of the House, and a review of the security and operational controls of the computer center. In addition, the system's equipment was tested and validated while in operation, control reports provided by the voting system were analyzed, and information was obtained from officials responsible for operating the voting system and controlling admission to the House chamber.

The tests of the House voting system have shown that all 44 voting stations were properly recognized by the computer and appear to have been functioning properly on the day the reported anomalies occurred. A subsequent review of data signals to and from the voting stations and the computer showed no irregularities, and signal and noise levels were satisfactory. Hardware and software controls provided an appropriate level of technical security. GAO found no indication that any of the voting system equipment was malfunctioning on the day reported. GAO believes that the Electronic Voting System is basically well designed and incorporates appropriate safeguards.

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