Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC)
Human Factors and Privacy Subcommittee (HFP)*
March 2, 2007


1. Administrative Updates and planning for March TGDC meeting (Allan Eustis)
2. Summary of VVSG HFP draft being submitted today.
3. Summary of joint HFP-STS SI and accessibility discussion from 2/1
4. Status of safety requirements, based on earlier 2/2 NIST internal discussion
5. Status of usability benchmarks and how to proceed with HFP subcommittee discussion
6. Other issues

Our next telecon is scheduled for: Friday, March 9, 2007 at 11 AM ET

Attendees: Alexis Scott-Morrison, Allan Eustis, John Cugini, John Wack, Mat Masterson (EAC), Nelson Hastings, Sharon Laskowski, Sharon Turner-Buie, Tricia Mason, Wendy Havens

Administrative Updates (Allan Eustis):

  • WRT recording of last joint telcon, we were able to filter out a lot of the noise from the joint HFP/STS meeting on the 3/1 so it's a little easier to understand Whitney's comments. (Posted at:
  • TGDC Plenary Meeting: Informal reception on the evening of the first day's meeting (22nd) at 6:00 p.m. The internal website <> is beginning to be populated with information for the meeting. CDs will be mailed as usual to arrive one week in advance. Completed Portions of the draft VVSG will be included. A draft agenda will be distributed soon.

Quick Updates:

  • The HFP VVSG chapter draft for review at the plenary has been submitted for printing as a draft meeting document. Document is pretty much the same as discussed at meeting when we went over it point by point. Any problem areas are indicated in brackets.
  • Had an internal discussion regarding system safety requirements. At one point we had an OSHA citation that has now been resolved. We will be citing U.L. 60950 in the VVSG. There should be a requirement regarding the test labs performing the tests or subcontracting them out.
  • HFP had a joint meeting with STS on March 1 regarding SI and accessibility issues. Action item was to rewrite the white paper making technical changes and adding explanations. John Cugini has drafted a tentative requirement:
    • Long complicated discussion - bottom line is that relying on audio is probably OK, because audio would be verified/tested by sighted voters. It is desirable to urge vendors to supply a reading mechanisms that could take paper ballot and get it read directly. [Draft statement: If voting station generates a paper record for the purpose of allowing voters to verify by their ballot choices, then the system should provide a mechanism that can read that record and generate an audio representation of its contents.] The use of this mechanism is available to voters with dexterity disabilities.
    • This allows voters with sight disabilities to verify their ballots even if indirectly. The verification depends on the integrity of the mechanism. It does not depend on the internal electronic record of the system. SI is for the integrity of the system as a whole.
  • Status of usability benchmarks and how to proceed: We have received an initial technical report on the first round of tests that says our experiments to develop these benchmarks have validity. We have data that can be presented at the plenary meeting. Sharon will put together a summary for presenting. We will conduct further tests in the May/June timeframe.
  • John Wack expressed concerns about usability and paper records. Frustrated that TGDC is appearing to mandate inaccurate elections by mandating paper. (Manual counting is inaccurate and SI does not mandate this.) One area overlooked is usability of paper records that effect poll workers and election officials. John is concerned about reconciliation. It is an important step for auditing purposes.
  • John Wack requested that election officials on the TGDC read material and offer comments regarding usability. Sharon Turner-Buie and Alexis Scott-Morrison promised comments.

Allan Eustis mentioned that a possibility for the following plenary meeting would be end of May.

Allan announced that he had received notice that Senator Obama had introduced a bill to amend HAVA creating a new office for a voter advocate at the EAC. (See:

Meeting adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

[* Pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the TGDC is charged with directing NIST in performing voting systems research so that the TGDC can fulfill its role of recommending technical standards for voting equipment to the EAC. This teleconference discussion serves the purposes of the HFP subcommittee of the TGDC to direct NIST staff and coordinate its voting-related research relevant to the VVSG 2007. Discussions on this telecon are preliminary and do not necessarily reflect the views of NIST or the TGDC.]




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Last updated: July 25, 2007
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