COMMISSION SEEKING PUBLIC COMMENT
ON VOLS. I & II OF VOTING SYSTEMS STANDARDS
WASHINGTON The Federal Election Commission on December 13 will
issue for public comment two volumes of voluntary standards for computer-based voting
systems. When finalized next year, these
systems standards will assist states in administering future elections.
The primary goal of the standards is to
provide a mechanism to assure the integrity of computer-based election systems. Although that goal has remained unchanged since
1990 (when the FECs Office of Election Administration first published national
voluntary standards), the methods for achieving it have broadened over the last decade,
with the 2000 election year creating additional impetus.
FEC Chairman Danny L. McDonald noted, When
finalized, these complementary volumes of systems standards will be an invaluable tool and
guide. To that end, I urge the public,
particularly election officials and system vendors, to offer comments and suggestions so
we can proceed expeditiously toward the goal of solving many of the technical problems in
election administration. By working together,
we can move swiftly to provide an election-day environment ensuring the effective
franchise of all voters.
The proposed standards are intended as
guidelines for states and voting system vendors, and final issuance is expected in the
Spring of 2002. Volume I is being reissued
for another phase of public review after incorporating hundreds of suggestions received
earlier this year. Volume II has not been
released previously and the FEC is soliciting comments from the public, vendors, elections
officials, and other interested parties. Public
input is due on or before February 1, 2002.
the draft standards include:
standards provide a common set of requirements across all voting technologies, using
technology-specific requirements only where essential to address the specified technologys
impact on voting accuracy, integrity, and reliability.
specific (software) standards are defined for ballot counting, vote processing, the
creation of an unalterable audit trail, and the generation of output reports and files,
with systems having the capability to monitor overvotes and undervotes.
requirements are defined for voting systems to meet the specific needs of voters with
-- Performance requirements are defined for
the content and labeling of data provided to the media and other organizations (in
reports, data files, or postings to official Web sites) prior to the canvass and
certification of election results.
that controls cannot be developed at the present time to make remote Internet voting
sufficiently risk-resistant to be confidently used by election officials and the voting
public, therefore standards cannot be written for the testing and qualification of these
Comments are due
on or before February 1, 2002, and should be directed to the Office of Election
Administration, Federal Election Commission, 999 E St. NW, Washington, DC, 20463. Faxed comments should be sent to 202-219-8500, and
electronic comments to email@example.com. Full text of the VSS draft standards may be
found at www.fec.gov. Paper copies and CD-ROM may be requested through
the FEC Press Office.
draft Notice for Comment will be addressed at Thursdays (Dec. 13) public session of
the Federal Election Commission, 999 E. St., 9th floor. The meeting begins at 10
a.m., and this agenda item is slated for discussion at approximately 10:45 a.m. FEC
principals and others involved in the VSS Standards project will be available for
questions immediately following the discussion of the VSS Notice for Comment.