Note: for overview information:
NIST is developing a common data format (CDF) for election systems as part of its voting program. The development work is conducted within the Voting Interoperability Public Working Group, composed of election officials, manufacturers, and election analysts. Several CDF specifications have been completed thus far or are nearing completion. The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has indicated that it will require use of the CDF specifications in the next version of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).
The goals of the Interoperability work include:
- To make election equipment used in U.S. elections and interfacing software to interoperate more easily and “speak the same language”.
- To make election devices easier to use by reducing the need for translations of proprietary formats.
- To assist election departments in more easily integrating devices from different manufacturers.
- To assist in making election devices ultimately interoperable and standalone components of a voting system.
- To work towards interoperability by addressing the endpoints of the voting system first (voter registration database and election results reporting) and subsequently address CDFs within the voting system (election event logging, cast vote records, other imports/exports).
The current CDF projects include:
- Election Results Reporting CDF – version 1 completed, developing version 2
- Election Event Logging CDF – version 1 completed
- Cast Vote Records CDF – in final development
- Voter Records Interchange CDF – under development
- Election Business Process Modeling – under development
- Voting Methods/Models - under development
Additional CDFs for Ballot Definition and Electronic Pollbooks are planned.
The CDF specification materials are located on the NIST voting twiki (see the above links) and on the voting GitHub repository.