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Highlights

In November 2006, about 18,000 undervotes were reported in Sarasota County in the race for Florida's 13th Congressional District (Florida-13). After the election results were contested in the House of Representatives, the task force unanimously voted to seek GAO's assistance in determining whether the voting systems contributed to the large undervote in Sarasota County. In October 2007, GAO presented its findings on the review of the voting systems and concluded that while prior tests and reviews provided some assurance that the voting systems performed correctly, they were not enough to provide reasonable assurance that the voting systems in Sarasota County did not contribute to the undervote. GAO proposed that a firmware verification test, a ballot test, and a calibration test be conducted. The task force requested that GAO proceed with the proposed additional tests. GAO also verified whether source code escrowed by Florida could be rebuilt into the firmware used in Sarasota County. To conduct its work, GAO conducted tests on a sample of voting systems used in Sarasota County during the 2006 general election. GAO witnessed the rebuild of the firmware from the escrowed source code at the manufacturer's development facility. GAO reviewed test documentation from Florida, Sarasota County, and the voting system manufacturer and met with election officials to prepare the test protocols and detailed test procedures.

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