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EAC Issues Report on Tennessee Voting System Anomaly

EAC seal with the text U.S. Election Assistance Commission News

April 1, 2022

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today issued a report detailing the findings of an investigation into a voting machine anomaly reported to the EAC by the State of Tennessee. The isolated incident occurred in Williamson County, Tennessee during a local election on October 26, 2021. As part of the investigation, a fix to an isolated coding issue identified by the EAC’s Testing and Certification Division is being implemented by the manufacturer, Dominion Voting Systems.

EAC Chairman Thomas Hicks, Vice Chair Christy McCormick, Commissioner Ben Hovland, and Commissioner Donald Palmer issued the following joint statement detailing the EAC’s formal investigation into the Tennessee voting machine anomaly and the resolution reached as a result of the EAC’s efforts, "The EAC’s status as an independent agency allows it to impartially and thoroughly investigate these matters as a neutral arbiter. The Commission will continue working to instill trust in our nation’s elections, as we endeavor to ensure each and every election is safe, secure, accurate, and transparent."

The anomaly in Tennessee resulted in valid ballots being sorted into a provisional ballot category. A real time hand-recount ensured that the election remained accurate and secure. The EAC was made aware of this issue through both public reports and timely notification from state officials.

Following a state investigation into the matter, a formal investigation by the EAC was initiated on January 11, 2022. The investigation included robust testing by certified voting system test labs, along with an on-site investigation in Tennessee in January 2022. On February 14, 2022, the EAC received additional information from the manufacturer that allowed the agency to establish the root cause of the issue as an error in the scanner’s source code. A formal notice was shared with Dominion Voting Systems, requesting a fix to this problem. The repair was subsequently received by the EAC on February 18, 2022. This coding fix has been thoroughly evaluated by the EAC’s Testing and Certification Division and voting system test lab and deemed a satisfactory resolution to this issue.

As part of the investigation, two other states that have certified this same system configuration were notified of the anomaly – Alaska and Iowa. Alaska is the only state of the two currently utilizing the affected configuration in its elections. There are no other reports of this anomaly, aside from the isolated incident in Tennessee.

As part of the EAC’s mandate established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the agency routinely tests and certifies election machine technology for official use by states and localities around the country. As anomalies or issues arise, the EAC will be formally notified of a technological issue that warrants further investigation. These investigations typically include formal testing of voting machines and equipment, along with extensive local due diligence, all with the goal of identifying and promptly fixing any identified issues.

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