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Standards and Certification

Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG)

The Help America Vote Act instructed the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to develop voluntary voting system guidelines -- a set of specifications and requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems provide all of the basic functionality, accessibility and security capabilities required of these systems. On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), which significantly increase security requirements for voting systems and expand access, including opportunities to vote privately and independently, for individuals with disabilities. The guidelines update and augment the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies.

For more information about the VVSG, visit:

National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP)

The National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) provides accreditation services through various laboratory accreditation programs (LAPs), which are established on the basis of requests and demonstrated need. NVLAP accredits public and private laboratories based on evaluation of their technical qualifications and competence to carry out specific calibrations or tests. Accreditation is granted following successful completion of a process which includes submission of an application and payment of fees by the laboratory, an on-site assessment, resolution of any nonconformity identified during the on-site assessment, participation in proficiency testing, and technical evaluation. The accreditation is formalized through issuance of a Certificate of Accreditation and Scope of Accreditation and publicized by announcement in various government and private media. NVLAP accreditation is available to commercial laboratories; manufacturers' in-house laboratories; university laboratories; and federal, state, and local government laboratories. NVLAP provides an unbiased third-party evaluation and recognition of performance.

For more information about NVLAP, visit:

Test Materials and Guidance

NIST Medium Complexity Test Ballot

The NIST medium complexity test ballot is a marked voting template that was designed for researchers and vendors to use as a guide to developing a test ballot for their system. The ballot contains a straight party ticket, 12 contests, 2 retention questions, and 6 referendums.

Click here to view the NIST test ballot.



Created May 6, 2013, Updated February 13, 2023