TGDC to Consider Next Generation of Voting System Certification Guidelines

Sept. 11-12, 2017


TGDC to Consider Next Generation of Voting System Certification Guidelines

Upcoming meeting to also feature DHS presentation on critical infrastructure progress 

Silver Spring, MD – The Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) will meet next week to consider the next generation of voting system testing guidelines. The meeting, slated to take place on Sept. 11 and 12 at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), marks the next step in moving forward with the development of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) version 2.0, a set of specifications and requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. The meeting will also feature a Department of Homeland security update regarding implementation of the critical infrastructure designation for election systems. 

The Help America Vote Act of 2002 mandates that EAC develop and maintain these requirements. Some factors examined under the VVSG include basic functionality, accessibility, and security capabilities.  On December 13, 2005, the EAC unanimously adopted the 2005 VVSG, which significantly increased security requirements for voting systems and expanded access, including opportunities for individuals with disabilities to vote privately and independently. The guidelines updated and augmented the 2002 Voting System Standards, as required by HAVA, to address advancements in election practices and computer technologies. These guidelines were updated by the EAC’s Commissioners on March 31, 2015. The new VVSG are slated to be complete by 2018. These guidelines are voluntary. States may decide to adopt them entirely or in part prior to the effective date. 

The EAC and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are currently partnering with a diverse working group comprised of representatives from the election community, public sector, private sector and interest groups to develop this next iteration of the election system testing and certification guidelines, VVSG 2.0. Earlier this year, a set of 17 core voting system functions that will guide the VVSG 2.0 were adopted by the TGDC. The new system testing guidelines are expected to be released in 2018 and will become the most flexible and comprehensive standards against which voting systems can be commercially tested in the United States. 

The new guidelines are a nimble high level set of principles that will be supplemented by accompanying technical requirements for how systems can meet the new guidelines and obtain certification. The supplemental requirements will also detail test assertions for how the accredited test laboratories will validate that the system complies with those requirements. 

The new VVSG structure is anticipated to be:

  • Principles:    High level system design goals;
  • Guidelines:   Broad description of the functions that make up a voting system.

Companion documents will include:

  • Requirements:   Technical details necessary for manufacturers to design devices that meet the principles and guidelines of a voting system;
  • Test Assertions:    Technical specifications required for laboratories to test a voting system against the requirements.

Space at the meeting is limited. All press are encouraged to RSVP to reserve their seat or to watch the live stream online at Reporters with questions or requests should contact Brenda Bowser Soder at or 301-563-3951.  


Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) meeting to discuss next steps toward development of the next generation of Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG 2.0)


See full draft agenda 


Monday, Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EDT
Tuesday, Sept 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT 


Streamed at

U.S. Election Assistance Commission
1335 East-West Highway, First Floor Conference Room
Silver Spring, MD

PLEASE NOTE: All attendees must show an official photo identification to enter the building.


Click here for more information about the TGDC. Click here for more information about the VVSG.