ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Initial Recommendations on Voluntary Voting System Guidelines Delivered to EAC

EAC press release

Washington, DC, May 12, 2005

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) has received an initial set of recommendations aimed at improving the existing voluntary voting system standards. These standards – currently known as the 2002 Voting System Standards (2002 VSS) – are designed to better assure election officials that the voting systems they procure will work accurately and reliably. Today, more than two-thirds of the states have adopted the 2002 VSS in whole or in part.

The development of these initial recommendations is required by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). HAVA establishes a Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), which is comprised of technical experts, disability experts and election officials. The TGDC assists the EAC in revising the 2002 VSS by forwarding its first set of recommendations, which, once reviewed and adopted by the EAC, will replace the 2002 VSS.

The proposed initial recommendations presented by the TGDC add to or significantly change the 2002 VSS in critical areas. For example, the TGDC recommendations include requirements on accessibility and usability of voting systems for individuals with disabilities, and add a new section on security of voting systems. Additionally, the recommendations include an updated appendix on error rates as well as best practices for voting officials.

The EAC process for final adoption of the voluntary voting system guidelines consists of an initial review of the recommendations forwarded by the TGDC, followed by publication of the proposed voluntary guidelines in the Federal Register. This will begin a 90-day public comment period during which EAC will conduct public hearings to solicit comment. Additionally, once published in the Federal Register, the proposed guidelines will be available via the EAC website (, where viewers will be able to submit comments. At the conclusion of the public comment period and after the consideration of comments received, EAC commissioners will vote to approve the voluntary voting system guidelines.

EAC is an independent bipartisan commission created by HAVA. It is charged with administering payments to states to meet HAVA requirements, implementing election administration improvements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines and serving as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration.

There are currently three EAC commissioners -- Gracia Hillman, chair; Paul DeGregorio, vice chairman; and Ray Martinez III. One vacancy currently exists. To learn more about EAC, visit

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) sits as a member of the TGDC, as specified in HAVA. [more info]

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