The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has delivered to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) a draft revision to the 2005 federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) Version 1.0, specifying how electronic voting machines are built and tested. The EAC made the draft revision available for public comment June 1st, with a final version expected by the end of 2009.
"The guidelines are designed to further improve the quality and efficiency of the testing conducted on voting systems," says John Wack, NIST's voting team manager. "This enables improvements to be made sooner rather than later when the next full set of standards is finalized."
The draft revision, titled "Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, Version 1.1," provides improved requirements for electronic voting machine accuracy, reliability, usability, accessibility, and security. The strengthened requirements have been taken from the August 2007 VVSG recommendations delivered to the EAC by NIST and the Technical Guidelines Development Committee. Because the EAC wants the draft revision to be achievable by voting system manufacturers in the near term, the revision requires no changes to voting system hardware and no significant changes to system software.
NIST has developed associated tests to go along with the revised standards, which will be available to the public and to federally accredited testing labs. Revisions include:
EAC will review the NIST-developed revisions and public comments before the new standards are adopted. For more information on voting standards and NIST's role, visit http://vote.nist.gov