NIST to Certify Voting Machine Security, StandardsBy Wayne Rash | Posted 2006-10-26 Email Print
The EAC and NIST are working together to create the standards against which voting products are judged.WASHINGTONThe U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the little-known agency that controls how national elections are held in the United States, is enlisting the help of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in making sure electronic voting machines meet federal standards.
According to EAC Voting Systems Certification Director Brian Hancock, all voting machines to be used in federal elections must meet certification requirements for the specific election in which they're being used.
For this reason, the EAC requires vendors of electronic voting machines to show that they meet the required standards by having their products tested by private labs, and having the results verified by NIST.
The EAC and NIST are working together to create the standards against which voting products are judged.
"NIST will address security and wireless access," Hancock noted. He said that focus will be in addition to the standards already in place on usability, performance, accessibility, etc.
Hancock said that manufacturers of machines that don't meet federal standards could have what he called the "ultimate sanction" placed against them.
"This includes decertification," he said. If a manufacturer or its machines have been decertified, they cannot be used in elections in the United States, he added.
The EAC is requiring that electronic voting machines be certified for security, so that tampering, vote rigging or other types of election tampering cannot take place.
However, he noted that attacks on the voting process haven't surfaced.
"There has never been an attempt to hack into a voting machine on Election Day," Hancock said.
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