While I can account for how votes are collected at my polling place, I really do not know anything about the upstream process. After I turn in the votes collected in my precinct(s), how secure is the process from that point on? At the end of the election day I am far too tired to hang around and see where the votes go from there.

So the following bit from a local political weblog is of interest - and encouraging.

OC Blog: From The Correa Campaign… As to the other missive about the signatures, it is unfortunate that someone has chosen to raise this issue and attack the credibility of the Orange County Elections operations and safeguards. Had they spent the last week and a half at monitoring the process, they would have discovered like we did that the County does in fact have multiple steps of review in place, and that every absentee and provisional ballot is individually reviewed for both completeness and yes, the signatures on the ballot envelopes are matched to their affidavits of registration.

If the signature validator had any question whatsoever, they attached an electronic challenge to the ballot and envelope and sent it on up for further review. At that point, the signature went through several additional reviews where it was either found to be legitimate and placed back in the ballot pipeline or sent to the challenge room where attorneys and staff for both camps would review each and every ballot envelope. At this point, both camps found agreement on most signatures, and where disagreement occurred, the Registrar himself provided the final word on whether the signature was valid.

All in all, a clean process that went well for all involved.

I would still like to follow the process through someday. Given an occasional need to evaluate software security, I long ago developed that nasty, suspicious, nearly paranoid state of mind needed on the occasion to look for threats and weakness. :)