Proposed Guidance on Voluntary Voting System Guidelines
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) (Pub. L. 107-252, October 29, 2002) established the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). Section 202 of HAVA directs the EAC to adopt voluntary voting system guidelines (VVSG) and to provide for the testing, certification, decertification, and recertification of voting system hardware and software. The VVSG provides specifications and standards against which voting systems can be tested to determine if they provide basic functionality, accessibility, and security capabilities. Section 221 of HAVA mandates the creation of the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC) to assist the EAC in developing its voluntary voting system guidance. The TGDC has recommended standards to the EAC. These recommended standards were submitted by the TGDC to the EAC's Executive Director pursuant to section 221 of HAVA. As part of its development process the EAC is seeking public comment on the TGDC's recommended standards. The EAC encourages the public to offer specific and detailed comments on all aspects and sections of the requirements. The EAC is particularly interested in receiving comments on three distinct issues: (1) The concept of Software Independence and the corresponding requirements for Independent Voter Verifiable Records and the Innovation class; (2) Open Ended Vulnerability Testing; and (3) the usability and accessibility benchmarks developed for this iteration of the VVSG.
Consideration of Administrative Transfer of national Voter Registration Act Regulations
The Help America Vote Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-252, 116 Stat. 1727, 42 U.S.C. 15532) transferred authority to promulgate regulations under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA) (Pub. L. 93- 31, 197 Stat. 77, 42 U.S.C. 1973gg-1 et. seq. at 41 U.S.C. 1973gg-7(a)) from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC). The EAC is presently considering the administrative transfer of NVRA regulations previously adopted and maintained by the FEC. These regulations are currently located at 11 CFR Part 8. In accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), this administrative transfer of the regulations would make no substantive changes to the FEC regulations and would be made without public comment. The only changes made would be technical, such as the address and contact information for the responsible agency. Following this administrative transfer of the regulations, the EAC would begin efforts to substantively amend the rules. This rulemaking process would include substantial public involvement, including public notice and comment pursuant to the APA. The EAC currently seeks public comment on whether the agency should administratively transfer regulations previously adopted and maintained by the FEC regarding the NVRA, currently located at 11 CFR Part 8, and then substantively amend those rules. Please note that the EAC does not seek substantive comment on the content of the existing regulations or potential modifications to the regulations.