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NIST Delivers ­pdated Draft Standards for Electronic Voting Machines

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The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently provided the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) with a draft revision to the 2005 U.S. federal Voluntary Voting System Guidelines Version 1.0, specifying how electronic-voting machines are built and tested. The EAC has made the draft revision available for public comment, and a final version is expected by the end of the year.

The draft revision provides improved requirements for e-voting machine accuracy, reliability, usability, accessibility, and security. The revisions require no changes to voting system hardware, and no significant changes in software, in an effort to make the revisions achievable in the near term. The revisions include expanding accuracy and reliability testing throughout all testing processes to ensure comprehensive coverage of the entire voting system, and adding paper audit trials. The revisions also propose new reporting requirements for system manufacturers, who will be required to provide details of their voting systems' security architecture and usability testing results, as well as requiring that election software and any upgrades be digitally "signed" and that voting systems verify these signatures to prevent the insertion of malicious software.

Lastly, the revisions require clear operating instructions for pool workers, including details on how to set up, start, and shut down the voting system and configure accessibility features for disabled voters.

From NIST Tech Beat
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