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Election Supporting Technology Evaluation Program (ESTEP)

Wednesday, November 08, 2023

What is ESTEP? 

Under the authority of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) began exploring the need to develop federal standards for election-supporting technologies in 2021. In an effort to achieve this goal, the EAC developed the Election Supporting Technology Evaluation Program (ESTEP), responsible for the creation of draft standards, administration of pilot programs, and presentation of pilot findings. This program was formally established in September 2022, through employing its first director, and received Congressional funding for the development of a full program in 2023. This additional funding permitted the EAC to launch the EPB pilot, contract with Voting System Test Laboratories (VSTLs) to conduct testing, employ four Election Technology Specialists to oversee pilot program activities, and purchase additional program resources. ESTEP aims to establish requirements and guidelines specific to election technologies that are not covered under the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), which include electronic poll books, electronic ballot delivery systems, election night reporting databases, and voter registration portals and databases.  

Image of notepad with pen, text: "Electronic Poll Books (EPBs)"; Image of a ballot, text: 'Electronic Ballot Delivery Systems"; Image of computer screen with check mark, text: "Election Night Reporting Databases"; Image of computer screen with numbers and check mark, text: "Voter Registration Portals and Databases"

The links at the bottom of this page provide more information on the election supporting technologies.

Pilot Process

Utilizing a standardized evidence-based approach, the EAC’s pilot programs for election-supporting technologies involve a seven-phase process in which manufacturers demonstrate their ability to effectively build, test, monitor, and maintain their technology solution according to standards developed by the EAC. This process has been designed to verify the security, usability, and accessibility of EPB systems in the United States.  

Phase 1 Develop Requirements, Phase 2 Develop Pilot Artifacts, Phase 3 Establish Test Group, Phase 4 System Evaluation, Phase 5 Pilot Findings Evaluation, Phase 6 Present Findings, Phase 7 Commissioner Decision

Federal Register Documents for Public Comment

  1. Voluntary Electronic Poll Book Requirements v1.0

  2. Election Supporting Technology Evaluation Program Manual v1.0

  3. Manufacturer Registration Application v1.0

  4. Application for ESTEP Participation v1.0

Questions? Please Contact:  

Election Supporting Technology Evaluation Program 
[email protected]  

Featured ESTEP Supporting Technology Resource Pages

  • Electronic Poll Books (EPBs)

    Equipment used to access digital voter registration records for their representative jurisdiction.

  • Electronic Ballot Delivery (EBD) Systems

    Ballot delivery systems are used for the electronic delivery of ballot and voter information packets.

  • Election Night Report (ENR) Databases

    Election night reporting software facilitates the collection, aggregation, reporting, and secure sharing of accurate election results to the public in real-time, usually through an official website.

  • Voter Registration (VR) Portals and Databases

    A combination of either hardware, software, or firmware, materials, and documentation used to automate the process of voter registration and secure voter information within a county, state, or election jurisdiction by election administrators.