State Voting Machine Requirements Relative to Federal Testing and Certification
Source: Election Assistance Commission
State Requirements and the Federal Voting System Testing and Certification Program
How to Use This Guide
Section 311 of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) requires the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to periodically adopt standards for voting systems in the form of Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Section 231 of HAVA further requires the EAC to provide for the testing, certification, decertification, and recertification of voting system hardware and software to these Federal standards.
To accomplish this goal, HAVA requires the EAC to develop a program to provide accreditation and revocation of accreditation of independent, non-federal laboratories to test voting systems. In this way, the EAC’s Certification Program provides (1) Voluntary Voting System Standards, (2) voting system testing by accredited laboratories, and (3) voting system certification.
Participation in these EAC programs is strictly voluntary. However, some states have, through legislation or administrative rules, mandated participation in EAC’s Testing and Certification Program in varying degrees. Currently, 35 states mandate some element of EAC’s Testing and Certification Program.
This document consists of a summary table, a fact sheet for each state, territory, and the District of Columbia, and an appendix of state statutes and administrative rules.
The purpose of this document is to provide a broad overview of the degree to which states have (though statutes or administrative rules) mandated the use of EAC’s Certification Program. In looking at state requirements in this area, it was apparent that states took varying approaches in what they required and the language used to require it.
Because of the diversity of approaches taken by the states, it was difficult to develop a document that could serve as a useful tool in understanding the big picture. To address this issue, EAC staff classified each state’s requirements into four groups:
(1) No Federal Requirements
(2) Requires Testing to Federal Standards
(3) Requires Testing by a Federally Accredited Laboratory
(4) Requires Federal Certification.
These classifications required staff to review each statute and make a determination based upon its plain language. In each case, the language of the reviewed statutes and regulations is provided so that readers can make their own determination about the effect of the jurisdiction’s statutes and/or regulations.
Please note that this document is meant to provide a general understanding regarding relationship between state and Federal certification. It is not meant to provide a definitive interpretation of state law. The EAC recognizes that such interpretation is not the purview of the Federal government. This document is not intended to provide an authoritative interpretation of state law.
In viewing each category, it is important to note that the classification only reflects state statutes and regulations. It does not address policy or practice. The fact that a state has not statutorily mandated the use of EAC’s Certification program does not mean that they do not utilize the program. For example, we noted that some small states, which have historically relied on national certification, are not required to do so by their jurisdiction’s statutes or regulations.
It is also important to remember that classification is based upon a narrow interpretation of the state requirement, not necessarily on intent. For example, when a state required voting systems to be certified by an accredited laboratory (as opposed to the EAC), staff read this requirement only as requiring testing by Federal laboratories and not requiring Federal Certification. Description of Categories: EAC staff reviewed statutes and administrative regulations for all states, territories, and the District of Columbia to determine what level of participation each may require regarding EAC’s Testing and Certification Program.
The following is a description of each category:
1. No Federal Requirements:
Relevant state statutes and/or rules make no mention of any federal agency, certification program, laboratory, or standard.
2. Requires Testing to Federal Standards:
Relevant state statutes and/or rules require testing to Federal voting system standards (states reference standards drafted by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the EAC).
3. Requires Testing by a Federally Accredited Laboratory:
Relevant state statutes and/or rules require testing by a federally or nationally accredited laboratory.
4. Requires Federal Certification:
Relevant state statutes and/or rules require that voting systems be certified by a federal agency.
U.S. Election Assistance Commission Categories of State Participation in Federal Voting Standards
1. No Federal Requirements -- 20 States
AK AS AR FL GU HI KS ME MS MT NE NH NJ OK PR TN VT VI WV WY
2. Requires Testing to Federal Standards -- 10 States
CT DC IN KY MN NV NY OR TX VA
3. Requires Testing by a Federally Accredited Laboratory -- 15 States
AL AZ IL IA LA* MD* MA MI* MO NM OH PA RI* UT* WI* WA
4. Requires Federal Certification -- 10 States
CA CO DE GA ID ** NC** ND SC SD
* Statutes/rules require testing by an independent testing authority (ITA) or NASED accredited laboratory
according to standards adopted by the FEC or EAC.
**Statute allows for NASED or EAC certification.
Download Complete 50-State Report
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