Logic and Accuracy (L&A) (pre-election) testing

1. Equipment and system readiness tests whose purpose is to detect malfunctioning devices and improper election-specific setup before the equipment or systems are used in an election. Election officials conduct L&A tests prior to the start of an election as part of the process of setting up the system and the devices for an election according to jurisdiction practices and conforming to any state laws.

2. Testing of the tabulator setups of a new election definition to ensure that the content correctly reflects the election being held (i.e., contests, candidates, number to be elected, ballot styles) and that all voting positions can be voted for the maximum number of eligible candidates and that results are accurately tabulated and reported.

3. Testing Jurisdictions are required to test the correctness of every ballot style and to determine that every possible valid and invalid voter choice can be captured or handled by the voting system, both technologically and legally. L&A scripts are developed to test both the ballot and the vote capture and tabulation systems.

4. A means of determining that voting systems will function properly for the election by recording test votes on each machine, verifying that it is possible to vote for each candidate on the ballot and that these votes are tabulated correctly all the way through to the canvass. This can be done, for example, by casting a different number of votes for each candidate or issue position in each race or contest on the ballot. Different testing requirements apply to different types of voting systems (e.g., optical scan sensor calibration, touch screen calibration, etc.). After testing, officials clear the voting machinery, set vote totals to zero and empty the physical or electronic ballot boxes, sealing the systems prior to their official use for the election.

Source: Election Terminology Glossary - Draft, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), https://pages.nist.gov/ElectionGlossary/; Glossary of terms database, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, https://www.eac.gov/glossary/; Information Technology Terminology, U.S. Election Assistance Commission, https://www.eac.gov/documents/2017/09/21/information-technology-terminology-security; COUNTING VOTES 2012: A State by State Look at Voting Technology Preparedness, Verified Voting Foundation, Rutgers School of Law - Newark Constitutional Litigation Clinic & Common Cause Education Fund, https://countingvotes.org/sites/default/files/CountingVotes2012_Final_August2012.pdf