An U.S. Election Assistance Commission blog written by former Commissioner Matthew Masterson

Mar 26 , 2018
Now, as I prepare to leave, I am so grateful to all of those who have helped me, pushed me and supported me and the EAC along the way. These last three years have been the most challenging and rewarding of my career.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Aug 07 , 2017
As my fellow Commissioners and I begin our work, we have embarked on a "listening tour" across the country to figure out where to start after several years without a quorum at the EAC.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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".
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.
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.