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Election Assistance Commission (EAC)

EAC Releases Report on Voter Registration PDF  | Print |  Email
Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
By EAC Media Release   
July 01, 2009
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has released a report on voter registration statistics in accordance with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA). It presents information provided by the states on the number of registered voters, the registration process and voter registration list maintenance. The full report can be dowloaded here, and the data are available here.

The report covers registration information from after the 2006 general election through the 2008 general election. The following highlights are among the findings. 
EAC Commissioner Rodriguez Resigns PDF  | Print |  Email
Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
By Election Assistance Commission   
February 24, 2009
Transparency and Voter Access Hallmarks of her Tenure

Commissioner Rosemary E. Rodriguez today announced her resignation from the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), effective February 28, 2009.  She is returning home to Denver to serve as the State Director for United States Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado.

“It has been an honor to serve with Commissioners Beach, Hillman, Davidson, and former Commissioner Hunter," said Commissioner Rodriguez.  "They are committed to implementing the Help America Vote Act and are distinguished in their service to their country.  I am proud to know them.  I urge my colleagues to continue directing resources to the federal government’s first voting system certification program. Conducting thorough reviews of voting systems and holding program participants accountable is more important than ever, and we must properly fund and support these efforts.

“It has also been an honor to work with the EAC's staff,” Commissioner Rodriguez continued. “Due in large part to the hard work and diligence of its staff, the EAC has accomplished a great deal with very few resources.  In just a few years, we have adopted voting system guidelines, built a voting system certification program from the ground up, provided training materials for election officials, conducted research on a host of issues, and provided voter resources in six languages. I am very proud of them, and I will always be grateful for the work they have done on behalf of America’s voters.”

During Commissioner Rodriguez’s tenure at the EAC she focused on transparency, accountability and increased voter access. As EAC chair, she also focused on making internal improvements and providing more support to EAC program staff.  

Using her national platform as chair, she urged the recruitment of 2 million poll workers in 2008, more cooperation between voter registration groups and election officials and better service for military and overseas voters and veterans in long-term care facilities. Other initiatives include brown bag lunches with the public to get additional input; a series of workshops about election administration in the months leading up to the 2008 general election; and a policy requiring the release of public meeting agendas 21 days prior.

IEEE Representative Comments on EAC Plans for Voting Systems Guidelines PDF  | Print |  Email
Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
By Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D. Professor of Software Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology   
February 22, 2009
The following open letter was sent along with detailed comments (click here to download) to the Election Assistance Commission on February 20, 2009. The EAC Standards Board will meet February 26-27 in Orlando.

Dear Commissioners:

I am concerned by recent developments in the updating of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG).

Unless I misunderstand your intentions, your current approach will not implement most of the 2007 draft of the VVSG but will instead make revisions to VVSG-2005 that:
(a) fail to implement most of the security-improvement provisions of the 2007 amendments to VVSG

(b) change the testing effort in ways that, on balance, will probably make testing less expensive for the vendor but less likely to expose defects in the software

(c) potentially fail to improve the ease, cost, accuracy and public visibility of the task of auditing election results

(d) do somewhat improve usability and accessibility characteristics of voting systems.
In addition, Board of Advisors Resolution 2007-D12 recommends that EAC remove all requirements that mandate election procedures instead of equipment standards. I am unsure of the scope of your authority in this regard but the variation in local election procedures is enormous and there are credible research reports that even minimal standards of control (such as reconciling the count of voters against the count of votes cast in a precinct) are sometimes not present.

Just as hanging chads were probably the result of poor local practices (not emptying the trays containing waste from punched ballots) rather than equipment defect or voter error, improper or inadequate practices with any type of voting equipment can wipe out those benefits (reliability, security, usability, accessibility, auditability) that might otherwise have been available. Controlling the equipment without setting baselines for election procedures will not do much to help Americans vote in ways that get their votes accurately received and counted.

I believe these developments reflect a grave error and I urge you to reconsider.

Cem Kaner, J.D., Ph.D. Professor of Software Engineering, Florida Institute of Technology
EAC Announces Intention to Suspend SysTest Labs PDF  | Print |  Email
Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
By U.S. Election Assistance Commission   
October 29, 2008
Follows Action Taken by National Institute of Standards and Technology

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today notified SysTest Laboratories Inc. of its intent to suspend the laboratory’s accreditation based upon actions taken by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

SysTest is one of five laboratories that were accredited by the EAC to test voting systems under the EAC’s voluntary program. The EAC accredited SysTest on February 21, 2007 based on a recommendation from NIST.

NIST suspended SysTest due to numerous non-conformities with the NIST Handbook 150-22 Voting System Testing, which sets forth the procedures, requirements and guidance for the accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories by the National Voting Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). Non-conformities included failure to create and validate test methods, improper documentation of testing and unqualified personnel.

Section 2.4 of EAC’s Voting System Test Laboratory Program Manual requires all voting system test laboratories to hold “a valid accreditation from NIST/NVLAP.” Pursuant to Section 5.4 of the Manual, the EAC today notified SysTest of the Commission’s intent to suspend its accreditation. SysTest has three days to respond to the EAC’s action. If SysTest cannot refute the NIST suspension, the EAC will suspend SysTest requiring the laboratory to immediately halt all testing under the EAC program. 

As a result of NIST’s action, the EAC program director will issue notification informing manufacturers of their right to request a change of test laboratory in accordance with the EAC program manual.

More Here
Election Assistance Commission Accredits Ciber as Fifth Voting System Test Lab PDF  | Print |  Email
Election Assistance Commission (EAC)
By U.S. Election Assistance Commission   
October 07, 2008
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has accredited CIBER, Inc. to be the fifth voting system test laboratory under the commission’s Voting System Certification and Testing Program. Click here for more information about CIBER and other EAC accredited labs. Commissioners also approved EAC staff recommendations regarding CIBER, including on-site testing observation and technical assessments as provided under Section 4.5.2 of the EAC Lab Manual.

Commissioners accredited CIBER, Inc. following a recommendation by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and after an independent EAC review of non-technical issues such as conflict-of-interest policies, organizational structure, and recordkeeping protocols. In addition to CIBER, Inc., Wyle Laboratories, InfoGuard Labs, iBeta Quality Assurance and SysTest Labs have also been accredited by EAC. All five labs will test against the 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines.
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