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Voting System Testing LAP

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 (Public Law 107-252) was signed into law by President Bush on October 29, 2002. Section 231 of HAVA requires the Director of NIST to provide for the accreditation of laboratories that conduct testing on the hardware and software of voting systems. In response to the HAVA, the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP) has established a program for laboratories that test voting systems.

The Voting System Standards of 2002 (VSS-2002) were approved for release and publication by the Federal Election Commission on April 30, 2002. The VSS-2002 provides for entities called “Independent Test Authorities” (ITAs): laboratories that test to the requirements of the VSS-2002 and certify products that meet the requirements. ITAs were approved by the National Association of State Election Directors. Testing is now conducted by NVLAP-accredited Voting System Testing Laboratories (VSTLs). Product certification is performed by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

On December 13, 2005, the EAC adopted the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines of 2005, known as VVSG 1.0. The VVSG 1.0 increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including the opportunity for disabled individuals to vote privately and independently. On March 31, 2015, the EAC adopted the VVSG 1.1, clarifying some requirements and making them more testable.

Following the adoption of VVSG 1.1, a public working group process was developed to help inform NIST and EAC on the development of the next iteration of voluntary voting system guidelines.. On February 10, 2021 the (EAC) announced the adoption of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) 2.0, improving the manufacturing and testing of voting machines. The EAC Commissioners unanimously approved the VVSG 2.0 documents including the Principles and Guidelines and Requirements, as well as approving the Testing and Certification Program Manual and the Voting System Test Laboratories (VSTL) Manual. 

VSTLs are required to meet the requirements in ISO/IEC 17025, General requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories, NIST Handbook 150, NVLAP Procedures and General Requirements, NIST Handbook 150-22, NVLAP Voting System Testing, HAVA requirements, VVSG requirements, and any other criteria deemed necessary by the EAC. VSTLs should be familiar with the election and voting communities including the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) and the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS).

NIST Handbook 150-22 augments ISO/IEC 17025, and NIST Handbook 150, by gathering technical requirements of the laboratory accreditation program (LAP) . Technical requirements are explained to indicate how NVLAP criteria are applied for accreditation under the Voting Systems LAP.

Proficiency Testing

No additional requirements at this time.

Requirements Documents

References and Information



Created February 19, 2019, Updated March 29, 2024