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History of Voting at NIST

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was passed by the United States Congress to make sweeping reforms to the nation's voting process. HAVA addresses improvements to voting systems and voter access that were identified following the 2000 election.  Read the Help America Vote Act of 2002

NIST research activities include:

  • security of computers, computer networks, and computer data storage used in voting systems;
  • methods to detect and prevent fraud;
  • protection of voter privacy; and
  • the role of human factors in the design and application of voting systems, including assistive technologies for individuals with disabilities (including blindness) and varying levels of literacy
  • the recommendation for accreditation of testing labs to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The EAC, not NIST, certifies voting systems for use in elections.
  • NIST and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)
  • VVSG Background


Accuracy, Integrity and Security in Computerized Vote-Tallying
Published: October 01, 1988
NIST SP 500-158 (DOI Link:
Author(s): Roy Saltman (NIST)

Improving the Voting Process: A Multi-disciplinary and Politicized Problem (html)
Saltman, Roy G.

Auditability of Non-Ballot, Poll-Site Voting Systems
Roy Saltman (Non-NIST paper)
August 24, 2003

The History and Politics of Voting Technology In Quest of Integrity and Public Confidence
Roy Saltman (Book)

Archived Material

Development of VVSG 2.0

Material Before VVSG 2.0

Testing Material

NIST has developed test material to support the EAC’s Testing and Certification Program (with link to that).  The following are archived material.  Current testing material should be obtained from the EAC.

Testing for VVSG 1.1 and VVSG 1.0

VVSG 1.1

VVSG 1.0

Test Development for Voting Systems


Created September 13, 2022, Updated February 13, 2023