For Immediate Release
December 15, 2016
SILVER SPRING, MD – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) met today for an initial de-brief on the 2016 election and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the EAC’s Testing and Certification Program.
Commissioners heard from a panel of state and local officials about the issues they faced, solutions discovered and lessons to share from administering this year’s presidential election. A second panel representing military and overseas voters, voters with disabilities and other election administration interest groups provided accounts of Election Day experiences.
“In 2016, the EAC worked with all levels of government to support election officials’ efforts to provide an accessible and secure voting process,” said EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks. “Further, the EAC has worked with local and state election officials, accessibility experts, scientists and academics—as part of our entire #BeReady16 initiative, including activities addressing Election Security Preparedness,” he said.
Today’s meeting follows EAC’s Sept 8 pre-election meeting to discuss contingency planning, system security, and management of the voter registration process in advance of the November election. Last August, Commissioners also entered into joint discussions with federal and state officials about security preparations for the election process.
10th Anniversary of Testing & Certification Program The final portion of the meeting included a panel to reflect on the past 10 years of EAC testing and certification of voting systems. Since launching the program in 2006, the EAC has certified voting systems deployed in 29 States and over 700 local jurisdictions, marking the first time in history that the federal government holds this responsibility.
At today’s meeting, voting system manufacturers discussed the evolution of the program from their perspective; a state certification official provided insight into how EAC certification assists the states in their unique certification roles, and EAC staff provided their thoughts on 10 years in the certification business.
Election reform has made tremendous improvements since the enactment of the Help America Vote Act in 2002,” said Vice-Chair Masterson. “To that end, EAC’s testing and certification program has made and continues to make great progress to ensure the integrity, reliability, and accessibility of voting system operation,” he said.
Presenters at today’s meeting included:
PANEL #1: De-Brief on the 2016 Election (Election Officials)
Denise Merrill, Connecticut Secretary of State
Veronica DeGraffenreid, Election Preparation & Support Manager, State Board of Elections, NC
Rob Rock, Rhode Island Director of Elections PANEL #2: De-Brief on the 2016 Election
David Beirne, Acting Director, Federal Voting Assistance Program Adam Ambrogi, Program Director, Elections, The Democracy Fund Michelle Bishop, National Disability Rights Network Don Palmer, Fellow, Bipartisan Policy Center
PANEL #3: 10th Anniversary of the Testing and Certification Program Retrospective from Manufacturers: Ed Smith, Vice President, Product Development, Clear Ballot, & Steve Pearson, Vice President, Voting Systems, Election Systems &Software – ES&S) Brian Hancock, Director, Testing and Certification Program To access EAC’s broad range of resources and best practices available to help election officials and voters during the 2016 election season, visit EAC’s website at BeReady16 and Testing and Certification. To access the meeting agenda and webcast, visit EAC.gov. The EAC is an independent bipartisan commission created by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002. HAVA was passed by the U.S. Congress to make sweeping reforms to the nation's voting process, address improvements to voting systems and voter access that were identified following the 2000 election, and to provide federal funding to states for new voting equipment. HAVA mandates that the EAC test and certify voting equipment, maintain the National Voter Registration form, conduct research, and administer a national clearinghouse on elections that includes shared practices, information for voters and other resources to improve elections. More information is available at www.eac.gov.