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Chapter 1: Introduction

This part of the VVSG, Documentation Requirements, contains requirements applying to the Technical Data Package, the Voting Equipment User Documentation, the Test Plan, the Test Report, the Public Information Package, and the data for repositories. It is intended primarily for use by manufacturers, test labs, and software repositories.

This part contains 7 chapters, organized as follows:

  • Chapter 2: manufacturer requirements for quality assurance and configuration management documentation provided to test labs;
  • Chapter 3: manufacturer requirements for documentation to be included in the technical data package provided to test labs;
  • Chapter 4: manufacturer requirements for documentation provided to users, i.e., customers;
  • Chapter 5: requirements for the voting system test plan, provided by the test lab;
  • Chapter 6: requirements for the test report provided by the test lab; and
  • Chapter 7: requirements for test results-related documentation to be made available to the public.

NOTE: Requirements in Part 2 do not contain "Test Reference:" fields. All requirements in Part 2, unless otherwise specified, are assumed to be tested by Part 3: Chapter 4: "Documentation and Design Reviews (Inspections)".


1 Comment

Comment by Gail Audette (Voting System Test Laboratory)

These requirements are based on a new design/development process. The majority of the systems being submtted for VSTL testing are legacy systems. How are these new requirements to be implemented by legacy systems?

1.1 Changes from VVSG 2005 and Previous Versions of the Standards

As part of the overall cleanup of the Guidelines, requirements to document certain things or to provide certain information have been moved into a separate part from functional and performance requirements applying to the voting equipment itself.

1.1.1 Separation of requirements on Voting Equipment User Documentation from requirements on Technical Data Package

In previous Guidelines, there were requirements saying such things as "Provide documentation," "The vendor shall document," "The vendor shall provide detailed descriptions of," or "Documentation shall include" with no indication of whether said documentation should be available to all users (in the Voting Equipment User Documentation) or merely to the test lab (in the Technical Data Package). These Guidelines have clarified which is which.

A copy of the Voting Equipment User Documentation is included in the TDP.

1 Comment

Comment by ACCURATE (Aaron Burstein) (Academic)

We support this section's shift to considering documentation as a distinct part of the voting system, rather than an element of voting system's functionality or performance. This will support the high-level goals of trustworthy elections through software independence, and a set of national guidelines pertaining to structure and content will likely make voting systems more comprehensive and usable.

1.1.2 Changes in TDP content

Technical Data Package requirements have been modified to enable verification of voting application logic implemented in software, firmware, and hardware (see Part 3: 4.6 "Logic Verification") and to clarify source code requirements in boundary cases. Operating systems that are customized or that implement application-level voting logic are subject to a source code review.

Numerous changes in wording have been made to clarify the requirements that were carried over from previous Guidelines.

1.1.3 Revisions to test lab reports

The Certification Test Plan and Test Report described in [VVSG2005] required revision to deal with the evolution of certification testing to include standard test methods and an expanded scope of testing.

The chapters on the Certification Test Plan and Test Report have been changed from complete, but informative, outlines of the reports to minimal, but normative, sets of requirements on what the test reports must contain. Test labs are now encouraged to apply relevant external standards, such as [IEEE95] and [IEEE98], to determine the organization and content of test plans, provided that the information described in Part 2: Chapter 5: "Test Plan (test lab)" does appear in the result.

1 Comment

Comment by Brian V. Jarvis (Local Election Official)

Reference is made to "IEEE95" however, the link goes to "IEEE91" instead.

1.1.4 Public Information Package (PIP)

Public assurance that the voting system is fit for use can occur vicariously, through trust in the test lab and election officials; indirectly, through verification that the certification process was responsibly executed; directly, through election verification; or through a combination of these.

A "Public Information Package" that must be publicly available and published as evidence that the certification process was responsibly executed now appears in Part 2: Chapter 7: "Public Information Package (test lab)".

The same minimal requirements apply to the PIP as apply to the test report, and the same minimal requirements apply to the test plan contained in the PIP as apply to the test plan contained in the test report. The difference is that the test report for the certification authority may contain additional, manufacturer-proprietary information that would not be suitable for publication