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

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.

Earlier this month, we introduced the next phase of the project with a kick-off conference call and the creation of the public working group Twiki site. We were overwhelmed with the response as over two hundred people participated in the call.

Thanks to the leadership of our three working group chairs --Lori Augino, Robert Giles and Linda Lamone -- election officials from several different states log on to the Twiki pages and upload their election process information and ideas. Earlier this month the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) contributed to the effort by holding a meeting exploring some of the larger issues that the working groups and the TGDC will tackle including COTS and the definition of a voting system for the next set of standards.

The next step is to move forward with the constituency groups to help fuel the working group process. We are fortunate that three members of the TGDC who have expertise in the areas have agreed to chair the constituency groups:

Accessibility & Usability = Diane Golden, Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs

Cyber security = David Wagner, University of California Berkeley

Interoperability = Jeramy Grey, Los Angeles County Clerk & Recorder’s Office

The purpose of these constituency groups is to provide expertise and focus on particular subject areas in order to inform the larger working group process. This will ensure that issues surrounding accessibility, security and interoperability will be appropriately addressed in each one of the working groups.

In addition, the EAC and NIST have begun work on an election glossary. The purpose of the glossary is to establish a set of common definitions and phrases to be used in the VVSG, common data format and the EAC election and voting survey (EAVS). This glossary is critical as we work to have voting systems that can communicate with each other and share data across platforms.

The TGDC will meet on February 8-9 in Washington, DC to review the public working group work and continue discussions on the format, scope and breadth of the next VVSG.

We need your help. Please go and sign up to participate in the working groups. If you are not sure where to begin, start by clicking around the Twiki to see what others have contributed and watch the short tutorial videos on how to get started. Just a few minutes of your time and knowledge will help to improve the next generation of voting systems. Get involved!

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