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The HAVA Bulletin
An Update on the Help America Vote Act
Visit our website at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/hava/
June 2005, Issue #4


CVR Computer Delivery Information and Use Policy

Over the next eight weeks, the State will purchase computers and equipment and deliver them to municipalities for use with the Central Voter Registration System (CVR). By the end of June, the State will contact each municipality to schedule delivery. The equipment and software will be owned by the State, but made available to municipalities for use in accordance with a formal agreement. Before receipt of the equipment, each municipality must accept the State's guidelines on use of the equipment and software. This detailed agreement will be sent to each municipality before it receives the CVR equipment. Here's a summary in advance:

The State will deliver the equipment to municipalities and provide detailed installation instructions. The State will provide installation support by phone. On-site technical help will be available if required.

Municipalities must maintain the equipment in good condition. The State will provide a permanent Help Desk for software and hardware troubleshooting, and provide repairs and replacement if necessary.

Conditions and limitations on use of equipment and software:

• The primary use of the equipment and software must be for the CVR.
• Municipalities must maintain the security of all passwords and prevent unauthorized access to the CVR.
• The CVR equipment may be used for other purposes, provided the CVR is not adversely affected.
• The State reserves the right to require the equipment to be used solely for the CVR.
• The CVR equipment may be connected to a municipality's existing network.
• Municipalities must have a policy in place governing the use of Internet and email by their employees.
• The State is not responsible for the loss of municipal data due to non-CVR use of the equipment.


Message to Municipal IT Personnel

Over the past several months, we have received inquiries from municipal IT personnel about the CVR. We urge you to contact us if you have specific questions about what you can or cannot do with the CVR equipment. We will provide case-by-case guidance as necessary, but here are some general responses to questions so far:

• Your municipality has the option to network your State-provided CVR computer, as long as it does not interfere with the performance of CVR duties. If you have a LAN, connecting this machine is permitted, but it should not be used to provide other LAN-based services (e.g. print, file, etc.).

• The CVR uses a web-based application. Therefore, existing municipal-owned computers, which meet the configuration needs, can be used to access the CVR. However, the scanner, printer and bar code devices will be directly connected to the State-provided CVR computer.

We will be happy to answer any questions specific to your municipality's use of the State-provided CVR equipment. Please do not hesitate to call the CVR Team at 624-7650 or email cec.elections@maine.gov with any technical questions concerning the CVR or the equipment provided for its use.


Training Schedule Update

Municipalities will be contacted in the next few weeks to schedule both training and computer installation.

In support of training, computers will be distributed starting in June and ending by August 1st. We will coordinate our shipments with the specific training needs of each municipality.

The State Training Coordinator will be contacting municipalities and will serve as the primary project resource to help facilitate the site training and rollout of site equipment.

• Track One Training takes place this summer, before the rollout of the CVR. (Not required for all users.)

Training area: Introduction to Windows, Internet Explorer, Internet basics. This course teaches the Microsoft Windows operating system and related software. It also provides an introductory overview of how to use the Internet. Track One is available in both a classroom, if required, and a self-guided format.

• Track Two Training begins within a week of a municipality launching the CVR. (Required for all users.)

Training area: Functions of the CVR and ElectioNet software. A hands-on training class will teach: how information is entered into the system; how information is changed; how information is retrieved; how elections are managed; and how reports are generated. A classroom setting is used for this training.

Municipalities will implement the CVR on a rolling schedule, not all at the same time. Thus Track Two training will depend on when a particular municipality goes "live," which ranges from September to December 2005.


User Acceptance Testing (UAT): A Closer Look

User Acceptance Testing, also known as UAT Pilot, has been briefly referenced in past Bulletins in terms of scheduling and User Group involvement. The UAT Pilot will take place late summer/early fall over a period of 3 to 4 weeks. Here's more information about this critical piece of the overall CVR project.

As the documentation of functional requirements for the CVR system design comes to an end, we will now turn more of our attention toward testing the finished product to ensure the system is user-friendly, works properly for all necessary and anticipated tasks, and will allow election officials to streamline their work. This cannot be accomplished without the help of many local election officials using pre-determined test scripts. Test scripts will be designed for every function within the system. Each test script will walk the user through a particular task or tasks with an anticipated end result. The outcome of the test will be documented and any deviation from the anticipated end result will be thoroughly reviewed and a determination will be made regarding any next steps.

The involvement of local election officials is extremely important to this phase of the CVR project. Ultimately it is you, the end users, who need to feel comfortable with the system and confident that your work can be done accurately and quickly. We will be contacting the UAT Pilot participants in the very near future with more details.

We look forward to working with each of the UAT users to ensure we have a sound system. Your involvement and comments will help us design a system that will work for municipal users as well as for the Division of Elections.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Q. What are the principal benefits of the Central Voter Registration System (CVR) for municipalities?

A. The CVR will:

     • Enable immediate real-time Internet connection and electronic access to a central system.
    
• Ensure that municipal officials maintain the authority to add and delete registered voters within their jurisdictions.
     • Provide verification and query capabilities with other municipalities and State agency data.
     • Accommodate electronic signature image storage and retrieval.
     • Prevent unauthorized access.
     • Provide library management, absentee ballot processing, ongoing administration, pre-election preparation, and petition certification.
     
• Allow more comprehensive reporting and online inquiry capabilities.

Q. Since the State is providing a computer to use the Central Voter Registration System (CVR), will this be the only computer that I can use to access the system?

A. Because the CVR is a web-based system, you can use any computer with a currently supported Internet browser to gain access. However, some versions of Internet Explorer may not support the application. The State-provided equipment will have everything needed to support the CVR software and the external hardware, such as the printer, scanner and bar code reader. They will all be configured and connected to the State-provided computer. Activities within the CVR requiring the use of the external hardware items will need to be done using this computer.

Q. What equipment will be provided to municipalities for use with the CVR?

A. The State will deliver: (1) A desktop computer with an Intel Pentium 4 Processor and Windows XP Operating System. This includes a flat-panel monitor, 40 GB hard drive, CD drive, floppy disk drive, modem, MS Office, and anti-virus software; (2) a printer; (3) an image scanner; (4) depending on the size of the voter list, barcode scanners and label printers may be provided.

Q. Can we connect the State-provided computer to our municipal Local Area Network (LAN)?

A. Your municipality has the option to network your State-provided CVR computer, as long as it does not interfere with the performance of CVR duties. If you have a LAN, connecting this machine is permitted, but it should not be used to provide other LAN-based services (e.g. print, file, etc.).

Q. My municipality is coordinating the summer vacations of its staff. What should we do if we can't attend CVR training?

A. There will be multiple sessions of training in different regions. The State Training Coordinator will work with each municipality to discuss the training schedule and find an appropriate date for training. If you have any concerns about scheduling, please contact us so we can assess your needs and accomodate your schedule.

These and other frequently asked questions and answers are also available at:
www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/hava/clerk.html


Questions about CVR or HAVA?

Website: www.maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/hava/

E-mail: sos.office@maine.gov

Phone: 624-7650 (Elections Division)