Technical Guidelines Development Committee Meets After Two Year Hiatus

By David Bruggeman
December 16, 2009

The Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), responsible to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) for the drafting guidance for voting system standards, met last week for the first time since 2007. Since the last meeting of the TGDC, there have been several changes in membership, including the chair (now new National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Director Patrick Gallagher).

This first meeting under new leadership was set up as a feeling out process, where questions of focus, direction, and appropriate organization were at least as important as technical issues in the pending revision of the 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) (the final version is expected early next year) and the future version 2.0 of the VVSG. The committee was asked by the EAC to research the following topics in its upcoming work:

  • Requirements for Alternatives to Software Independence
  • Requirements for Common Data Format
  • Accessibility and Usability
  • Vote by Phone Requirements
  • Requirements for Electronic Pollbooks and Voter Registration Databases (if the latter are within the scope of the TGDC)
  • Open-ended Vulnerability Testing (OEVT)
  • Testing and Certification requirements for electronic absentee voting systems (primarily for overseas voters)

As the research presentations by NIST staff indicated, many of these tasks contain difficult technical questions, and establishing effective guidelines will be a challenge. You can find out more about the recent meeting by visiting this page and reviewing the archived webcasts and presentation slides.