National Association of State Election Directors
General Overview for Getting a Voting System Qualified
(all questions concerning this process should be directed to the ITA Secretariat)
Federal Election Commission
Office of Election Administration
999 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20463
The FVSS contains all the requirements for punchcard, lever, optical scan or direct recording equipment systems. Provisions for Internet enabled voting systems will be included in future revisions.
Hardware & Firmware: All proprietary voting systems hardware has to be tested through an ITA qualified to test hardware. Additionally, if your system utilizes software that is machine resident in a permanent format (programmed onto a Read Only Memory chip) the hardware ITA may also test your source code. At the current time a hardware ITA approved by NASED is:
7800 Highway 20 West
Huntsville, AL 35807
Phone: 256-837-4411 ext. 218
Contact: Mr. Jim Dearman
Software: Vote tabulation software, including source code, and election management software will be examined by a NASED approved ITA. The software ITA will handle any software which tabulates or reports votes and vote totals and which is not in a permanent machine resident status (on a ROM). This includes software that is resident on a computer harddrive or any software that is external to the voting system.
At the current time, an approved software ITA is:
5030 Bradford Drive
Building 2, Suite 115
Huntsville, AL 35805
Phone: 256-837-4800 ext. 222
Contact: Mr. Shawn Southworth
FEC - The Commission formulates voting systems standards and maintains those standards to keep them dynamic to changes in technology and testing requirements. The FEC coordinates with NASED to assure that independent testing can be performed under the standards. No voting system is ever "Federally Approved" or "FEC Approved."
NASED - NASED selects and approves testing laboratories which can perform testing related to voting systems to meet the FVSS. The standards are not NASED standards and NASED does not have authority over the FVSS or its individual components of the standards. NASED does select and qualify Independent Test Authorities to perform the work of doing professional testing to assure that voting systems manufacturers comply with the FVSS. NASED has no ability to determine whether a system passes or fails; the ITAs operate independently to determine objectively whether the vendor has met or exceeded the FVSS. When a system passes testing through a qualified ITA, the ITA informs NASED of its compliance and then NASED issues one or more numbers which identify to the states that the system has been qualified by NASED.
All vendors meet the same tests for qualification that all other vendors have had to meet (assuming the systems are identical). Each test that is required (as opposed to those that are optional) is performed by the ITAs for each manufacturer so that no vendor gets an advantage over another in the types of testing performed. Vendors are not qualified; specific systems are qualified. Any manufacturer must have each voting system tested for qualification that it wishes to present to the states.
The Election Center - The Center serves as NASED's day-to-day management company for working with the ITAs, with the FEC and with the states. The Center has no authority to pass or fail any system, but works with the local jurisdictions in answering questions concerning the manufacturer's products (at least those qualified or not qualified under the FVSS). The Center serves as the focal point for coordination among the FEC, NASED and state and local jurisdictions and the ITAs.
The ITAs DO NOT and WILL NOT respond to outside inquiries about the testing process for voting systems, nor will they answer questions related to a specific manufacturer or a specific voting system. They have neither the staff nor the time to explain the process to the public, the news media or jurisdictions. All such inquiries are to be directed to The Election Center on behalf of NASED.
|The Election Center||The Voting Systems Board is chaired by:|
|Contact: Mr. R. Doug Lewis||Mr. Thomas Wilkey|
|12543 Westella, Suite 100||Executive Director|
|Houston, TX 77077||New York State Board of Elections|
|Phone: 281-293-0101||40 Steuben Street|
|Fax: 281-293-0453||Albany, NY 12207|
|Email: email@example.com||Phone: 518-474-8100|