Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) are a set of specifications and requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if they meet required standards. On February 10, 2021, the EAC's Commissioners adopted the newest VVSG standard, version 2.0. While the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) mandates the EAC to develop and maintain these requirements, adhering to the VVSG is voluntary except in select states that require it by law.
The EAC has developed resources to support election officials in communicating about the continued security and certification of VVSG 1.0 and 1.1 certified voting systems.
VVSG 1.0 and 1.1 Certified Voting Systems Will Continue to be Certified and Secure
All EAC-certified voting systems, no matter if they are certified to VVSG 1.0 or 1.1, are secure. Election officials may still use or procure systems that have been certified to VVSG 1.0 and 1.1 unless otherwise dictated by individual state statute.
The EAC will continue to accept applications for voting systems to be tested against VVSG 1.0 and 1.1 until November 15, 2023. After that point, VVSG 1.0 and 1.1 will no longer be used by the EAC to certify voting systems, and all applications for voting systems to be newly certified by the EAC must be for VVSG 2.0 or limited maintenance modifications to existing EAC-certified systems.
Migration of Voting Systems Certified to VVSG 1.0 and 1.1.
Voting systems will not be decertified by the EAC as the result of VVSG migration. Election officials may continue to use or procure voting systems that have been certified to VVSG 1.0 and 1.1 in accordance with state or local law.
Path to VVSG 2.0 Certification for New Voting Systems
Enacting the VVSG 2.0 is an important step to enhance U.S. election security, which is a national security imperative. With the accreditation of both Voting System Test Labs (VSTL) in November and December 2022, the EAC is accepting voting systems for testing towards VVSG 2.0.
Currently, there are no voting systems certified to VVSG 2.0. It will take time for new systems to be developed, certified, and fielded for use in elections, particularly in an environment of constrained funding for state and local election offices. As of March 2023, one system has been submitted to the EAC that is currently being tested to VVSG 2.0.
- Secure Elections Toolkit - The Secure Elections Toolkit, and its accompanying materials, are intended to assist election officials when informing candidates, policy makers, media, stakeholders, and the public of the multi-layered approach used to secure elections. This includes how to share information about election security in their jurisdictions and components of the EAC Testing and Certification program. Download customizable social media graphics via Canva.com.
- EAC Testing and Certification Factsheet – The printable EAC Testing and Certification Factsheet explains the purpose of the EAC’s national voluntary voting system certification program and what it means for voting systems to be certified by the EAC.
Frequently Asked Questions: Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) Migration
Q: Will Voting Systems Be Decertified?
No voting system will be decertified by the EAC as part of VVSG migration.
Q: What Does This Mean for EAC Certified Voting Systems?
VVSG migration does not affect the status of any previously EAC certified system. Systems certified under a previous standard are still certified and may still be acquired and used.
Q: What Does This Mean for Jurisdictions?
Jurisdictions are not required to replace or update any system with a VVSG 2.0 certified version. Jurisdictions may continue to acquire and use systems certified to legacy standards.
Q: Will Current Voting Systems Still Receive Updates?
Yes. Limited maintenance modifications will be allowed for systems certified to legacy standards. This includes security patches, bug fixes, end-of-life component updates, and functionality required by jurisdictional rule changes.
Q: What Initiates VVSG Migration?
The EAC’s VVSG Lifecycle Policy outlines the process for standard migration when a new VVSG version has been approved by the EAC’s Commissioners.