Inquiries from a pair of candidates who came up short in the 2017 Reston Association Board of Directors election did not turn up any “voting irregularities,” RA’s Elections Committee says.
At Monday’s Board Operations Committee meeting, Elections Committee chair Ed Robichaud presented findings from an analysis of the 2017 RA Board election and its administrative procedures. Among the issues addressed were requests for voter data from Ven Iyer and Arlene Krieger, the runners-up in the At-Large and North Point District races.
According to Robichaud’s report, Iyer and Krieger requested information regarding the IP addresses and time stamps for online voting on April 3, which was the last day of voting. Iyer spoke during the member-comment portion of the May 25 Board of Directors meeting to explain his concerns, which regarded the way Reston Association handles the voting process.
“Did you know that anyone can contact RA claiming that they lost their paper or email ballot, and RA will provide them with a username and password to vote?” Iyer said. “It is easy for an entity to spoof several identities to collect usernames and passwords, and then on the final day, bulk vote for a favorable outcome.”
Iyer finished second in a six-candidate race for the At-Large seat, 117 votes behind Eric Carr in a race that saw 8,534 votes counted. Krieger was defeated by John Mooney by a vote of 1,384 votes to 1,069.
The Elections Committee agreed there was a higher-than-normal voter turnout on the day in question, but attributed it to a direct email reminder to voters that was sent that day. The committee did, however, agree to request the information from Intelliscan Inc., RA’s appointed counting agent for the election.
While Intelliscan does not capture IP addresses, it was able to provide time stamps of votes cast throughout the entire voting period. The Elections Committee reviewed the data and determined:
“The April 3 volume and timing of voting is consistent with other dates when reminder emails were sent. At the conclusion of its due diligence, the Elections Committee has determined that there is no credible evidence of online voting irregularities.”
In regard to the possible loophole Iyer mentioned, the Elections Committee is asking the Board to consider an amendment to the Elections and Referenda Resolutions. The new code would read that “[b]efore issuing a replacement paper ballot or the username and password to an electronic ballot, the Assistant Secretary shall verify the identity of the Member using one or more identity verification questions including but not limited to their property’s development name, RA voting District, and/or billing and correspondence addresses on file with the Association.”
Graph via Reston Association Elections Committee