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Voting systems

Overview

NIST is charged by statute with helping to improve US election systems by focusing on technical aspects of voting and related activities. Design of voting systems and underlying standards must consider the diversity of voting processes and systems across many jurisdictions. NIST’s expertise in measurements, testing, information security, trusted networks, software quality, and usability and accessibility provides the foundation for its election-related activities.   

NIST works closely with the US Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and state officials. Under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), NIST provides technical support to the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), a Federal Advisory Committee to the EAC; the NIST Director chairs the TGDC. Among other things, NIST considers:  

  • The security of computers, computer networks, and computer data storage used in voting systems, 
  • Methods to detect and prevent fraud, 
  • Protection of voter privacy, 
  • The role of human factors in the design and application of voting systems, and  
  • Remote access voting, including Internet voting. 

News

A drawing shows four people with various disabilities gathered together.

NIST Draft Publication Addresses Removing Barriers for Voters With Disabilities

A polling station sign depicts an icon of a person in a wheelchair above the word "vote."

NIST Seeks Public Input on Removing Barriers to Voting for People With Disabilities

The graphic shows technology involved in elections divided into tasks conducted before, during and after the polls are open.

To Help Protect Our Elections, NIST Offers Specific Cybersecurity Guidelines

The Research

Security Aspects of Electronic Voting

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 was passed by Congress to encourage the upgrade of voting equipment across the United States. HAVA established the

Additional Resources Links