EAC posts final Voluntary Voting System Guidelines

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has placed the final 2005 “Voluntary Voting System Guidelines” on their website. Here is the description of the new 2005 VVSG from the EAC site:

On December 13, 2005, the U.S Election Assistance Commission (EAC) unanimously adopted the 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines, which significantly increase security requirements for voting systems and expand access, including opportunities to vote privately and independently, for individuals with disabilities.

The guidelines will take effect in December 2007 (24 months), at which time voting systems will no longer be tested against the 2002 Voting System Standards (VSS) developed by the Federal Election Commission. All previous versions of national standards will become obsolete at that time.

The voluntary guidelines provide a set of specifications and requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems provide all of the basic functionality, accessibility and security capabilities required of these systems. In addition, the guidelines establish evaluation criteria for the national certification of voting systems.

The guidelines update and augment the 2002 VSS, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date. Currently, at least 39 states use the national guidelines in their voting system certification process.

During the 90-day public comment period, EAC received more than 6,000 comments on the proposed guidelines. Each comment was reviewed and considered by EAC in consultation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the development of the final version. To view these comments and the proposed guidelines, go here.

I’ve not had a chance yet to go through the new 2005 VVSG, nor through the extensive comments associated with the new 2005 VVSG. It’ll be very interesting to work through the new 2005 VVSG, and to compare it with the draft VVSG to see what was changed as a result of public comment and testimony during the EAC VVSG hearings.