An U.S. Election Assistance Commission blog written by EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson

  • A Coordinated Response to Protect American Elections

    Feb 15, 2018
    This week, leaders of the intelligence community testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding worldwide threats against the United States. As I have traveled the country and shared resources to improve the ability of election systems to prevent, detect and recover from attack, I have tried to end each session with some tangible take-home thoughts for election officials.
  • Election Security: Solutions and Opportunities

    Jan 03, 2018
    The increasing complex demands of securing elections and the resources available for officials will be the focus of the panel “Election Security: Solutions and Opportunities” during the upcoming EAC Summit: The 2018 Federal Election. This morning, the EAC announced the four expert panelists who will join Chairman Matt Masterson for that discussion
  • Witnessing the First Statewide Risk-Limiting Audit

    Dec 01, 2017
    The Colorado Secretary of State’s Office and Arapahoe County allowed a few dozen people from across the nation to assist with the first statewide risk-limiting audit (RLA) in Colorado. EAC staff and leadership, including Chairman Matthew Masterson, Commissioner Hicks, Jerome Lovato and Ryan Macias, were among this crowd.
  • Defend Vets by Making Voting More Accessible to Them

    Nov 15, 2017
    The nation observed Veterans Day last weekend. The public holiday provides the opportunity to highlight a number of issues critical to veterans after they return home. This weekend, I wrote in Stars & Stripes about one such issue: the challenges veterans can face when attempting to vote.
  • One Year Out From the 2018 Midterms, Here is How Election Officials Can Prepare

    Nov 06, 2017
    Today marks one year to the day before the 2018 midterm elections. While much of the national conversation continues to focus on the 2016 election, the EAC, and election officials across the country, are hard at work preparing for 2018. As different policies, legislation and voter preferences impact the way in which Americans vote, election officials are constantly in search of the best solution that will keep the process secure and accurate, while not compromising accessibility for voters who n
  • Town Hall Meeting Connects Commissioners, Voters with Disabilities

    Nov 02, 2017
    Last week, Commissioner Christy McCormick and I, along with state and local election officials from Washington State, conducted a town hall discussion with voters with disabilities. The event took place at the 23rd annual conference of the Association of Programs for Rural and Independent Living (APRIL), in Spokane, Washington.
  • EAC remains committed to providing language access resources

    Jun 16, 2017
    Last week EAC held our second Language Access for Voters Summit. The first summit, held last year, focused on building relationships and partnerships between election officials, advocates and voters to improve language services for voters.
  • A Tourniquet Teachable Moment

    May 15, 2017
    Is there a simple elegant practice, technique, or procedure that has been known in elections for years that we are ignoring or setting aside in pursuit of a more complicated or technical approach to challenges we face? Could it be creating a more useable process through simple improvements to forms and ballots? Is it a different approach to voter education? Is it a new technique to recruit and train poll workers?
  • California works to improve the voter experience

    Apr 21, 2017
    Last week, I had the chance to visit Los Angeles County to get a closer look at the progress the county has made on the development of their new voting system that is designed to offer voters a variety of options on how to interact with and cast their ballot.
  • Common Data Format Could Improve Voter List Maintenance Efforts

    Mar 28, 2017
    As one part of our #GamePlan17 efforts, the EAC continues to focus on voter registration list maintenance. For state and local election officials, list maintenance is not a once a year spring cleaning exercise but instead a constant process akin to doing laundry. Once you finish your “last load” the hamper is full again and it’s time to start over.
  • How States Use EAVS Data

    Jan 11, 2017
    The EAC is working to streamline the EAVS data collection process, to make it easier for election officials to submit accurate and complete data. We are also working hard to ensure the data is usable for election officials once the report is issued. The data collected in EAVS can serve as a valuable tool for election officials to use as they analyze 2016 and work to update and improve their laws, processes, procedures and training.
  • Commissioner Masterson: EAC Wants YOU to Help Develop New Voting System Guidelines!

    Dec 21, 2016
    Recently, the EAC and NIST rolled out a new approach to developing the next set of Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Since the creation of the public working groups, EAC and NIST have been working to recruit as many election officials, information technologists, accessibility professionals and virtually anyone else ready, willing and able to help to join the working groups.
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: Tomorrow is E – 0

    Nov 07, 2016
    For the past days, months, and years you have been asking yourself what can go wrong? You have put plans in place to deal with those scenarios and then asked again what could go wrong? Your constant preparation will pay off - and already has as more than 40 million ballots have been cast early! - as millions more Americans head to the polls tomorrow and exercise their right to vote.
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: Election Integrity & Security

    Oct 27, 2016
    This year’s presidential election story focuses on the integrity and security of the process. Fortunately, the protagonists in this story - your state and local election officials - rose to the occasion and are using the conversation to highlight the laws, policies, and procedures already in place to ensure a secure and transparent process.
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: Election Day - Final Preparations

    Oct 03, 2016
    To do our part, the EAC is working with our federal partners at NIST, DHS and DOJ to provide information to help election jurisdictions address any specific cyber security threats relevant to this year’s Presidential Election. Through that partnership, and in collaboration with state and local election officials, we’ve shared suggested practices to better secure the election systems and procedures.
  • The Reality of Election Security

    Sep 06, 2016
    Recently there has been a lot of coverage regarding both election system and voting system security. While some of the stories failed to capture the election official perspective many, particularly local stories, did a great job capturing the facts behind the election process.
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: Legends of Elections

    Aug 18, 2016
    As we move one day closer to Election Day, I am reminded of one of the best pieces of wisdom ever shared with me. Former Ohio state and local election official Keith Cunningham liked to remind me, "…The one thing an election official can’t get more of is time. It’s their most precious resource." Election officials are savoring every hour, minute and second they have before Election Day ensuring every detail is managed, every system tested and secured and all registrations are entered.
  • EAC & Election Officials Working Together to Increase Confidence

    Aug 11, 2016
    Recently we see an increased interest in voting system security. Election officials are also concerned about this issue. They spend a significant amount of time identifying risks to their voting systems, mitigating those risks and answering questions about their voting systems since the purchase of HAVA systems a decade ago. I wanted to provide you with a few reminders of info EAC has available that can help facilitate this conversation and reassure voters about the process:
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: The Power of Language Access

    Jul 07, 2016
    At the summit Lance Gough, Director of Elections for the City of Chicago and Mee Moua from Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) gave summit talks. Their words do a far better job summing up the day and importance of that work than I ever could.
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: Improve Experience for Voters With Disabilities

    May 03, 2016
    Last week the EAC held a public hearing to continue exploring ways to improve the voting experience for voters with disabilities. It was a fantastic opportunity for the Commission to hear from voters with disabilities about successes they’ve experienced since HAVA and the challenges they continue to face. We also heard from election officials who are tackling those challenges head on and working to improve access.
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: Election Official as an IT Manager

    Apr 21, 2016
    Earlier this week I traveled to Columbia, South Carolina with EAC Testing and Certification Director Brian Hancock and Merle King from the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, at the invitation of SC Election Director Marci Andino, to teach a class to election officials from across the state entitled "Introduction to Information Technology for Election Officials".
  • EAC & FVAP Team Up to Serve Election Officials and Voters

    Mar 28, 2016
    Last week, both EAC and FVAP had the pleasure of traveling to New Jersey to meet with Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and advocacy groups from across New Jersey. During our visit, we also had the privilege of speaking at the annual New Jersey election official conference. It was a fantastic three days of listening and learning from and with the election officials of New Jersey.
  • Vice-Chair Masterson: #BeReady16

    Mar 09, 2016
    Last month at the meeting of the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) here in Washington, DC EAC rolled out the initial phase of our #BeReady16 campaign. #BeReady16 is an effort by the EAC to provide a broad level of information and support to election officials in the areas that are most pressing during this presidential election year.
  • Commissioner Masterson on Contingency Planning for "No Time Out"

    Oct 28, 2015
    this highlights why election officials across the country spend so much of their time asking themselves "what could go wrong?" Everything from the testing of voting systems, to training of election workers, to chain of custody procedures attempt to answer that question. And yet, every election official knows when voters and Mother Nature are involved something they didn’t expect is likely to happen. That is where proper contingency planning comes in.
  • Commissioner Masterson on Aging Voting Technology

    Sep 17, 2015
    Recently a report was released discussing the current state of voting technology across the United States as we head in to the 2016 Election Cycle, which covers elections for many offices, from President to statewide offices to school boards. Pam Fessler of NPR (a reporter who has spent years reporting on election administration issues and talking to state and local election officials) summed up the report, "Voting machines around the United States are coming to the end of their useful lives. B
  • EAC-NIST Form Public Working Groups for New Voting System Guidelines

    Sep 10, 2015
    This week the EAC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) provided information to the election community regarding the formation of public working groups to help inform the work of the EAC and its Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) in creating a new version of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). We are very excited about the creation of these working groups and moving forward with the next VVSG.
  • Commissioner Masterson's Notes from the Road 7.7.15

    Jul 07, 2015
    Last Wednesday, July 1st, as America prepared to celebrate her birthday the EAC released an explosion of data in the form of its Election Administration and Voting Survey (EAVS). EAVS represents the most comprehensive set of election data available anywhere. It also represents thousands of hours of sweat and tears by election officials and EAC staff.
  • Commissioner Masterson's Notes from the Road 6.18.15

    Jun 18, 2015
    Recently I had the honor of traveling to Colorado and Washington to talk to their respective election official organizations. At both stops I spoke about the desire among election officials to modernize the voting process and the implications of meeting this desire. These two states are the perfect places for this discussion because they are frequently national leaders when it comes to innovation in the election process. As I talked with the clerks and auditors in both states one message echo
  • Commissioner Masterson's Notes from the Road 3.31.15

    Mar 31, 2015
    Recently I attended the New Jersey Association of Election Official’s (NJAEO) conference. It was a fantastic conference focused on technology, policy and how the intersection of the two can help to make the voting process more available to the voters of New Jersey. As I listened to a panel discussion between election officials and two state legislators (who were incredibly well versed in the issues facing election officials, every state should be so lucky) regarding early voting and epollbooks