DEMOREP1 at aol.com DEMOREP1 at aol.com
Sun Jan 6 22:53:02 PST 2002


News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release
December 11, 2001
Ron Harris
Ian Stirton
Kelly Huff


The Federal Election Commission on December 13 [2001] will issue 
for public comment two volumes of voluntary standards for computer-based 
voting systems. When finalized next year, these systems standards will 
assist states in administering future elections. 

The primary goal of the standards is to provide a mechanism to assure 
the integrity of computer-based election systems. Although that goal has 
remained unchanged since 1990 (when the FEC’s Office of Election 
Administration first published national voluntary standards), the 
methods for achieving it have broadened over the last decade, with the 
2000 election year creating additional impetus. 

FEC Chairman Danny L. McDonald noted, “When finalized, these 
complementary volumes of systems standards will be an invaluable tool 
and guide. To that end, I urge the public, particularly election 
officials and system vendors, to offer comments and suggestions so we 
can proceed expeditiously toward the goal of solving many of the 
technical problems in election administration. By working together, we 
can move swiftly to provide an election-day environment ensuring the 
effective franchise of all voters.”

The proposed standards are intended as guidelines for states and voting 
system vendors, and final issuance is expected in the Spring of 2002. 
Volume I is being reissued for another phase of public review after 
incorporating hundreds of suggestions received earlier this year. Volume 
II has not been released previously and the FEC is soliciting comments 
from the public, vendors, elections officials, and other interested 
parties. Public input is due on or before February 1, 2002.

           Highlights of the draft standards include:

           -- Revised standards provide a common set of requirements 
across all voting technologies, using technology-specific requirements 
only where essential to address the specified technology’s impact on 
voting accuracy, integrity, and reliability.

           -- System specific (software) standards are defined for 
ballot counting, vote processing, the creation of an unalterable audit 
trail, and the generation of output reports and files, with systems 
having the capability to monitor overvotes and undervotes.

           -- Performance requirements are defined for voting systems to 
meet the specific needs of voters with disabilities.

-- Performance requirements are defined for the content and labeling of 
data provided to the media and other organizations (in reports, data 
files, or postings to official Web sites) prior to the canvass and 
certification of election results.  

           -- Conclusion that controls cannot be developed at the 
present time to make remote Internet voting sufficiently risk-resistant 
to be confidently used by election officials and the voting public, 
therefore standards cannot be written for the testing and qualification 
of these systems.

           Comments are due on or before February 1, 2002, and should be 
directed to the Office of Election Administration, Federal Election 
Commission, 999 E St. NW, Washington, DC, 20463. Faxed comments should 
be sent to 202-219-8500, and electronic comments to vss at fec.gov.  Full 
text of the VSS draft standards may be found at www.fec.gov. Paper 
copies and CD-ROM may be requested through the FEC Press Office.

#  #   #

Advisory to Editors/Reporters/Correspondents:

          The VSS draft Notice for Comment will be addressed at 
Thursday’s (Dec. 13) public session of the Federal Election Commission, 
999 E. St., 9th floor. The meeting begins at 10 a.m., and this agenda 
item is slated for discussion at approximately 10:45 a.m. FEC principals 
and others involved in the VSS Standards project will be available for 
questions immediately following the discussion of the VSS Notice for 

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