From the Center For Civic Design:
There are federal standards for voting systems, and dozens of election officials, domain experts, and vendors have been working on drafting a new version. We need your support for this new version to be accepted by the Election Assistance Commission.
This next version of the federal voting system guidelines, called the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines and known as VVSG 2.0, is taking a big step forward. The Election Assistance Commission is asking for comments from the public until May 29. (Details about how to comment are at the bottom of this page.) That is an invitation to everyone who cares about voting system usability, accessibility, and security to review and express support for the new standards.
VVSG 2.0 will provide a lot of needed improvements to the standards for developing and testing modern voting systems. The current version, VVSG 1.1 was drafted in 2008, even though it wasn’t approved until commissioners were appointed in 2015. Think about all the changes in that time. Technology has advanced substantially. How elections are run has also changed since then. It’s time for voting system standards to use modern technology to make it easier to vote and make support accessible, secure, and future-tolerant elections.
A central feature of VVSG 2.0 is that it is organized as 15 basic principles and 54 guidelines for elections, from high quality design to interoperability to usability and accessibility to cybersecurity and auditability.
To give you a taste, here are the four main principles for usability and accessibility:
- Principle 5: EQUIVALENT AND CONSISTENT VOTER ACCESS
All voters can access and use the voting system regardless of their abilities, without discrimination.
- Principle 6: VOTER PRIVACY
Voters can mark, verify, and cast their ballot privately and independently.
- Principle 7: MARKED, VERIFIED, AND CAST AS INTENDED
Ballots and vote selections are presented in a perceivable, operable, and understandable way and can be marked, verified, and cast by all voters.
- Principle 8 ROBUST, SAFE, USABLE, AND ACCESSIBLE
The voting system and voting processes provide a robust, safe, usable, and accessible experience.
There is also an important new guideline in Principle 2: HIGH QUALITY IMPLEMENTATION:
- Guideline 2.2. The voting system is implemented using best practice user-centered design methods, for a wide range of representative voters, including those with and without disabilities, and election workers.
In addition to these principles and guidelines, the new standard will have a full set of detailed requirements for designing and developing voting systems. Public working groups have spent the last year drafting these requirements with input from advocates and elections and technical experts. That work is almost complete — and ready for review by the EAC and its advisory committees.
With a strong framework of principles and guidelines, it will be easier to understand how the detailed requirements support the good elections for voters, election administrators and our democracy.
We encourage everyone to read the VVSG 2.0 Principles and Guidelines and add your comments. Remember that positive comments about items you support are just as important as suggestions for change.
How to comment on the VVSG 2.0
(scroll down to the comment period details)
Submit your comments at the Center For Civic Design.