After several years in the making, the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) voted unanimously to adopt the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) 2.0, which is a significant step toward improving the manufacturing and testing of voting machines. The four EAC Commissioners also approved the Principles and Guidelines and Requirements, the Testing and Certification Program Manual, and Voting System Test Laboratories (VSTL) Manual during the public meeting this morning.
"Today's vote on the VVSG 2.0 is the most important action the EAC has taken 15 years," said EAC Chairman Benjamin Hovland after the vote. The VVSG 2.0's update of federal standards for voting technology is the most significant action since the VVSG 1.0 was adopted in 2005.
The EAC's press release explains:
The VVSG 2.0 represents a significant advancement in defining standards that will serve as the cornerstone of the next generation of voting systems. It lays the groundwork for 21st century voting systems that are desperately needed with improved cybersecurity, accessibility, and usability requirements. The VVSG 2.0 also supports various audit methods supporting software independence to confirm the accuracy of the vote and increase voter confidence. With its adoption, manufacturers are empowered to begin designing and building voting machines according to these new guidelines.
EAC Vice-Chair Don Palmer opined, “The VVSG 2.0 represents a significant leap forward in states’ ability to modernize their own standards and voting systems to ensure the most secure, transparent, and accurate elections possible."
Vice-Chair Palmer eelaborated upon the importance of the VVSG 2.0 in a tweet thread:
TY!♥️ #VVSG 2.0 is the product of hard work by the @EACgov team w/input fm the public, stakeholders, advisory boards. The new guidelines will ensure high quality design of voting systems to include improved usability, transparency, accessibility, security, reliability, & accuracy— Don Palmer (@VotingGuy) February 9, 2021
The EAC Commissioners' joint statement reflected on the long-coming process of adopting the VVSG 2.0 and the work to be done in the future:
“It was a pleasure to work with such a knowledgeable and diverse team of experts to define a new standard. We are proud of the work accomplished. An exciting future awaits but there is a lot of hard work yet to be done. We look forward to those next steps and to see these standards implemented.”
The RNLA congratulates the EAC on adopting the VVSG 2.0 and looks optimistically at the positive effect it will have on election security in years to come.