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EAC Seeks Comments on Voting System Test Laboratory Accreditation Program Manual

New York, Feb 19, 2008

On Super Tuesday, February 5, 2008, a record 23 million people participated in 24 state primaries throughout the country, proving that the 2008 presidential campaign will be one of the most exciting political races in recent history. Ensuring that U.S. votes are counted properly is the responsibility of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC).

The EAC serves as an independent and bipartisan national clearinghouse of information about election administration. The Commission is also charged with developing guidance to meet the requirements of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) and adopting Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). [see related article]

Together with its Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), the EAC implements and administers VVSG, including evaluation criteria for the national certification of voting systems. Certification was previously coordinated by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED); however, responsibility moved to the EAC in 2006.

The EAC has drafted a procedural manual for its Voting System Test Laboratory (VSTL) Accreditation Program which establishes the procedures for obtaining EAC accreditation. HAVA requires that the EAC offer accreditation services to independent, non-federal laboratories qualified to test voting systems to federal standards. Although participation in the program is voluntary, adherence to the program's procedural requirements is mandatory for participants.

The EAC is requesting public comment on the substantive aspects of the proposed laboratory accreditation manual. For the current review, the EAC is requesting comments that recommend a change or alternative policy that may further develop the program manual.

Click here to access the Federal Register for specific details regarding the submission of comments.

Written comments are due no later than 5 p.m. on April 4, 2008. The public is encouraged to submit documents via e-mail (; however, comments may also be faxed to Brian Hancock, Director of Voting System Certification (202.566.1392), or mailed (Attn: U.S. Election Assistance Commission, 1225 New York Avenue, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20005).

The TGDC is chaired by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and includes appointed representatives from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and ANSI-accredited standards developer the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

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