While I don’t have the time at this point to go into a lot of detail about this new report from the GAO (got much better stuff to blog from Buenos Aires in just a few minutes), I thought that I would put a link to this report up now and note that sometime in the coming week Thad and I will probably get back to some more discussion of this new report.
In any case, the new GAO report is “Elections: Federal Efforts to Improve Security and Reliability of Voting Systems are Under Way, but Key Activities Need to Be Completed.” From the quick read I’ve made of this new report, that title pretty much summarizes the conclusions.
For those interested, here is a key paragraph from the summary:
The federal government has begun efforts intended to improve life cycle management of electronic voting systems and thereby improve their security and reliability. Specifically, EAC has led efforts to (1) draft changes to existing federal voluntary standards for voting systems, including provisions addressing security and reliability; (2) develop a process for certifying voting systems; (3) establish a program to accredit independent laboratories to test electronic voting systems; and (4) develop a library and clearinghouse for information on state and local elections and systems. However, these actions are unlikely to have a significant effect in the 2006 federal election cycle because important changes to the voting standards have not yet been completed, the system certification and laboratory accreditation programs are still in development, and a system software library has not been updated or improved since the 2004 election. Further, EAC has not consistently defined specific tasks, processes, and time frames for completing these activities; as a result, it is unclear when their results will be available to assist state and local election officials.
More later on this report …