HFP Teleconference
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
11:00 amEDT

Participants: Adam Ambrogi (EAC), Alexis Scott-Morrison, Alice Miller, Allan Eustis, David Baquis, David Flater, John Cugini, John Wack, Nelson Hastings, Philip Pearce, Sharon Laskowski, Thelma Allen, Wendy Havens, Whitney Quesenbery

Allen Eustis called the meeting to order at 11:03 a.m.

  • Welcome to new participants Philip Pearce (TDGC nominee representing the Access Board) and Thelma Allen (NIST)

Administrative Updates - John Wack

  • Security part of the VVSG effort is kind of reorganizing and has sent out basic assumptions about voting systems that security is going to go by and they have been forwarded to the NIST people
    • We've been talking about the ease which security controls should be understood and used by voters
    • HFP will see more drafts from security in the future for comments, noting the more usable the security is the more it will be used
  • Mark Skall and Barbara Guttman will attend the Election Center Conference in Chicago
  • There will be a TDGC Plenary Meeting in December 4th and 5th 2006.
  • AE - Efforts to observe the auditing and certification procedures in some of the remaining state primaries, NIST people will be making efforts to attend upcoming primary activities in Maryland and DC.

Sharon Laskowski Update

  • Sharon met with AIG Design for Democracy Team doing usability studies of ballot designs and signage for the EAC
    • The have been using the ballots of moderate complexity that we designed for our usability tests for their tests
    • Hopefully they will validate our results
    • AIG working on report for their first round of testing

VVSG Usability and Accessibility Section


  • We are currently circulating the next draft
  • Working on and editing in detail for the next few weeks
  • John Cugini sent out outline as well

John Cugini

  • Document has embedded a table of contents just for the section including the requirements as well; this TOC should match what's in the document

  • Comments requested - Changes/comments have been noted in [JC brackets]. The comments at top are general purpose regarding the philosophy of creating the new draft. Please note content and structure, not formatting at this time. Comments can be submitted in any format, whatever is easiest for member, to the HFP mailing list. Please use headers and be specific about section numbers. Not necessarily will all changes be made; however, changes by individuals will be collected as open issues and discussed as a group for possible consensus.

  • David B isn't on the email reflector. We need to make sure that we get access board comments. He should be added.

    ACTION ITEM: Wendy to add David Baquis to HFP subcommittee reflector list.

  • Whitney - Question to John C - it appears your first question is about levels and organizations and whether it worked at the low level. Looking at the index it appears that a good job has been done. The advantage to the new flat structure is that it is easy to scan the TOC and find everything.

  • John C - this level organization is a VVSG-wide thing (The TDGC agreed to this organization at their last meeting) and effort has been put into it. We felt that our material fitted very well into this new structure.

  • Alexis has reviewed new draft in new format and commented that everything flowed well and was understandable. The new structure is better for someone taking a first look at it and know that the standards exist and can find something.

  • Sharon NOTE: Whole section added on clear language based on "best practices".

  • John Wack NOTE: Regarding John Cugini's format, please review only for content, not presentation, fonts, etc. It is not in the official template.

  • John Cuguni - Question about whether these apply to the voting process as a whole, including polling place procedures, versus just the voting equipment. Last we were told was to limit it to equipment. The implication is that the current VVSG says the voting process shall be opened to the blind. It's put out as a "shall" but a very high level "shall". That requirement went away. Currently it looks at things that support the process.

  • Whitney - At the last TDGC meeting we discussed that there should be guidance for poll workers. Not sure where this leaves us.

  • John Wack - From feedback of others with experience on this matter, that the requirements have to be considered in the procedures. We're writing requirements that pertain to equipment and procedures and it's OK to mention supporting procedures.

  • John Cugini - Limiting the strict requirements to the equipment because they are intended to be applied in a test lab. It's important to keep the process separate - either in this document or in a separate document.

  • Whitney - Before we had a requirement that said the process should have a lofty goal. Changed to say that this group of requirements is in support of a process, end goal. We should keep this in mind. The requirements have become crisper.

  • David B - Make sure we clarify what are recommendations that support the requirement.

  • Sharon - We're looking at the context to why we did this.

  • John Cugini - For each requirement there is a discussion section to lets people know how to meet the requirement. Any substantive change to the document has been noted.

  • David B - Does the context impact the implementation? Is it a step back in not actually requiring that it be implemented in a certain way? Without requiring it specifically it may not happen?

  • Whitney - Don't think we can make certain requirements about where to put the equipment in the polling. All we can test in the lab is possibilities about where it can be placed, we don't know if the election official will actually do it.

  • Adam - These topics are getting into subjects that will be discussed by the EAC's Election Management Guidelines. We have a polling place set up and an accessability place will be included. A lot of things can't be covered by the voting system standards that are important to the accessibility function of voting.

  • John Wack - Best to include more information than not. Perhaps go to some states that are going through this quickly and look at the requirements and looking at a particular piece of equipment and whether the requirements that it satisfies also match with their procedures. Something in the discussion about "this would best be used.."
    • Whitney and Sharon feel we should look at these on a case by case basis.

  • Whitney - How are we going to proceed with this? Suggestion is to go through it section by section and move through the document in the next several meetings, making specific notes about things that can't be worked out at the meeting and come back to those later. This way we can check off sections at a time so that we know what has been completed. Consensus was reached.

    ACTION: Sharon will send out email for the sections to be discussed at the next meeting - September 8.

  • John Wack - Question about updating the VVPAT requirements to maintain privacy of stored paper records. Paper roll systems actually violate the privacy requirements. We need to put out a draft saying that paper records must be stored in such a way that they do not violate voter privacy. The HFP's requirements (Section 3.28) on privacy would apply to both electronic and paper storage.
    • Sharon - We need to look at VVPAT carefully and make those connections. We may want to put in prose in the discussion section so that the section requirements point to each other.
    • John Cugini - It could also be added as a sub-requirement.

  • NOTE: These drafts are pre-decisional.

  • Alexis - Likes the idea of not using "shall" outside the actual requirements. Helps to get rid of confusion.

  • Sharon - Question to Adam about setting up discussion regarding alternative language.
    • Adam, Sharon, and John Cugini to talk off line with Brian Hancock and Tom Wilke.

  • John Wack - John C. is using class structure that David Flater initiated. An example is on line.

  • ACTION: David Flater will send out email with URL for class structure. Sharon would like people's opinion on this.

Next Telecon on September 8, 2006, at 2:00 p.m.


Meeting adjourned at 11:37 a.m.


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