United States Election Assistance Comittee

The EAC Official Blog


Posted By Jeannie Layson on August 23, 2011

Today's earthquake reminds us of the importance of contingency planning in elections. On September 20, in conjunction with National Preparedness Month, EAC will host a public roundtable about contingency planning. (More details to come.)

In the meantime, please review the following resources about contingency planning, which were created by election officials for election officials.

Election officials--please send any contingency plans so we can share them with your peers. Send them to jlayson@eac.gov or post them here.

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Posted By Jeannie Layson on August 11, 2011

EAC's roundtable on ballot & polling place design is over, but the discussion is just beginning. View the on demand webcast (available 8-12-11), testimony, graphics and EAC's complete design report here. The report includes ballot design specifications, sample images and best practices developed by election officials, poll workers, voters and other experts. Election officials can also request a copy of the image library (not online), which includes camera ready images of ballots for a variety of voting systems and polling place signs in several languages. These images can be customized for local jurisdictions, and then sent to the printer for production, which will save time and money. Contact Marcy Reedy toll free at 866-747-1471 or mreedy@eac.gov to request the image library on CD.

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Posted By EAC Staff on July 22, 2011

Thanks to the election officials who’ve shared their experience and expertise on the Exchange. We remind everyone that the contents of the Exchange are available to the public; however, only former or current US election officials may officially join. EAC’s use of its website, online tools and social media is consistent with its social media policy, which states our responsibility to avoid references to commercial interests or services. For more information please read our social media policy and the blog code of conduct. Thank you again for participating! If you have questions or comments, leave them here or send us a note.

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Posted By EAC Staff on July 19, 2011

EAC recently launched the Election Exchange, an online tool for election officials to connect and share best practices and knowledge. So far, 50 election officials have signed up, and they have a wide range of experience and expertise in pre and post election activities, contingency planning, poll workers and voting systems. Based on feedback, we will add a field allowing participants to identify themselves as city, county or state officials. We are also exploring how to improve the keyword search and make the tool more intuitive. Keep the comments coming here or use the Contact Us form. We need and want your input!

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Posted By EAC Staff on July 18, 2011

There are lots of acronyms used in specialized professions and by government agencies that make it difficult for the public to access public documents and discussions. Federal elections are no exception -- for example you'll hear us talk about NRVA and HAVA. We realize acronyms make us sound very bureaucratic. And while we can't promise we'll stop using them, we can make sure you know what we're talking about when we refer to the VVSG and the VSTLs. We've put together a list of greatest acronym hits in federal elections. Let us know what you think!

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Posted By EAC Staff on June 21, 2011

EAC staff recently conducted a training class with election officials about security. Topics included risk management, physical security and computer security.

We spent a lot of time talking about authentication mechanisms used in the field of information security. For elections, authentication may be used for staff access to buildings and warehouses as well as computer systems. Authentication examples include handwritten signatures, employee access cards, fingerprints, DNA and digital signatures. Although this is not an exhaustive list, we recommend the following when establishing passwords:

  • Do not use default passwords!
  • Use different passwords for different accounts.
  • Use different passwords for different people.
  • Use different passwords for different elections.
  • No names or dictionary words. Example: JoshElection4.
  • Randomness is key.
  • At least 8 characters.

For more information, read EAC’s Election Management Guidelines chapters about system security, physical security, chain of custody procedures, acceptance testing and technology in elections. Also check out the security requirements in the next iteration of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines. It’s a draft, but you’ll find lots of information about voting system security.

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