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