VVSG Open Forum

Rick Carback of punchscan has asked me to help publicize a project of his.

He describes it here as a discussion board-like setting for discussing the latest VVSG Draft.:

This week I started disseminating news of my latest project, the VVSG-OF. The idea is to provide a discussion board-like setting for discussing the latest VVSG Draft. The hope is that, through open discussion, a few new ideas might come up that would not otherwise happen in the short times available in conferences on the document.

This is not to be confused with EAC’s own comment tool, which is a convenient, albeit mostly one-way, avenue to express your opinions on the document. When the comment period is over in early March, I will print out all the comments and mail them to the EAC (by me on behalf of each commenter).

If you are at all interesting in the voting process and where that will be heading in the coming years, I urge you to take a look!

Some background from the VVSG overview:

This document represents a recommendation from the Technical Guidelines Development Committee to the Election Assistance Commission for a voting system standard written to address the next generation of voting equipment. It is a complete re-write of the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) of 2005 and contains new and expanded material in many areas, including reliability and quality, usability and accessibility, security, and testing. The requirements are more precise, more detailed, and written to be clearer to voting system manufacturers and test laboratories. The language throughout is written to be readable and usable by other audiences as well, including election officials, legislators, voting system procurement officials, various voting interest organizations and researchers, and the public at large.

1.1 Purpose

This document will be used primarily by voting system manufacturers and voting system test labs. Manufacturers will refer to the requirements in this document when they design and build new voting systems; the requirements will inform them in how voting systems should perform or be used in certain types of elections and voting environments. Test labs will refer to this document when they develop test plans for verifying whether the voting systems have indeed satisfied the requirements. This document, therefore, serves as a very important, foundational tool for ensuring that the voting systems used in U.S. elections will be secure, reliable, and easier for all voters to use accurately.

Follow that? The Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) are federal guidelines for how voting systems and machines should operate and be tested. The 2007 VVSG is in a period of public review. Rick’s project is to host a copy of the VVSG that allows people to comment on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis and to more easily ‘converse’ about particular paragraphs.

My take:

I apparently don’t the skill / talent of being able to read very much of bureaucratic documents like this. I’ve tried 4 or 5 times and abandoned it fairly quickly. Given that this document is federal guidelines for how voting systems (particularly electronic voting systems) are developed and tested I suspect that there is a whole lot of this document that I would disagree with. But unfortunately my eyes glaze over every time I try to dive in.

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2 responses to “VVSG Open Forum

  1. If you want some help understanding the VVSG, I suggest you take a look at the conference ITIF hosted back in December on this topic. We had an open call for speakers, and I think all POVs were well represented.

    We had four great panels of speakers talk about what the VVSG is, why it is important, and then a lively discussion of its merits and shortcomings.

    http://www.itif.org/index.php?id=89

    Audio from each presentation is available, but no transcripts.

    Of course, I also suggest you take a look at my statement to the EAC where I present my view on the document, specifically the need for functional standards over design standards.

    http://www.itif.org/files/VVSGstatement.pdf

  2. After reading this article,I want to go out to see the movie with my boy firend.
    Goodbye and Good Luck.

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