testing and certification

Oppose NY Scanner Certification, Albany Hearing, 12.15.09

Crucial State Board of Elections Vote Tuesday!

Board Scheduled to Decide on Certification of Optical Scanners to Count NY's Votes in Secret!

Can you come to Albany?

Let's fill the room and show the State Board of Elections that the public cares about our elections and insists on constitutional, transparent election systems.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
State Board of Election Offices
40 Steuben Street, 4th Floor
Albany, New York

Sign up to speak!

You may only have one minute, so prepare a brief statement.
If you'd like help with talking points, contact joanne[at]etcnys[dot]org
Joanne has also offered to coordinate rides from Dutchess County.

Take photos!

Send them to us at info[at]etcnys[dot]org

Bring signs!

Here are some ideas for quick signs:

Don't Certify!
No to Secret Vote Counting!
Kellner Knows: Votes Switched in Erie Co.
NY Elections Ain't Broke! Don't 'Fix' Them!
Scanners Count Votes in Secret! Vote No!
ERMA is Unconstitutional!
Vote Your Conscience! Vote No!

If you can't make it to Albany...

Call or email the SBoE and tell them:
Do not certify optical scanners. Preserve NY's transparent, reliable vote-counting system.

Phone: (518) 474-6220


The Election Transparency Coalition thanks you for your support!
Please donate to support the litigation.

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

Download Complete 50-State Report

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

LibertyVote Still Suing to Force DREs on NY State

From Bo Lipari's blog, 3/22/08:


Vendor to sue NY again to allow DREs

I told you the DRE vendors are like zombies, and will never, ever stop trying to force DRE machines on New York State voters. Once again, LibertyVote and their Dutch partner Nedap are preparing to go to Court to challenge county purchases for accessible paper ballot systems, and to overturn New York State’s right to test our voting machines to the strict standards we worked so hard to achieve.

On Thursday, March 20, the Cattaraugus county Board of Elections informed the State Board that they wanted to change the order placed last month for 57 Ballot Marking Devices, and instead want to substitute LibertyVote DREs for the paper ballot systems. This is an astonishing request for several reasons – for one, orders have already been placed for the ballot markers and contracts have been completed, signed and sealed; and for another, the LibertyVote DRE has yet to undergo any testing whatsoever! Yes, that’s right, testing to New York’s rigorous standards has not yet even started, and won’t be completed until this summer at the earliest. But Cattaraugus county is telling the State Board they want to purchase the LibertyVote DRE now, essentially asking them to bypass all testing and simply approve the machine at the next Board meeting on Wednesday, March 26.

The Cattaraugus letter, signed by the county commissioners (and obviously prepared by LibertyVote/Nedap’s lawyers) lays out the vendor’s litigation strategy and arguments to the Court if the State Board refuses the county request to allow them to switch from paper ballots to an uncertified DRE. My guess - if the State Board turns down this outrageous request at the next meeting, LibertyVote/Nedap will be back in State Supreme Court before the close of business asking that New York’s certification testing be canceled and their DRE immediately approved for purchase. And based on their past success in this Court, why wouldn’t they?

But will the 4 Commissioners stand up to the DRE vendor? I certainly hope so, for granting the county’s request would fly in the face of everything the Board has said during the last three years about New York’s rigorous certification process and standards, and would essentially cancel New York’s voting machine certification testing. But there’s cause for concern that the Board may not stand their ground. As I reported in my last post, the Board demonstrated that LibertyVote/Nedap’s legal assaults on New York’s machine selection process have made them reluctant to deny approval to the vendor’s machines, even in light of evidence that they do not meet state requirements.

Let me be clear – if the State Board approves the Cattaraugus request at their meeting, they will violate the letter and the spirit of New York’s election laws and regulations which promise voters a comprehensive and complete testing regimen. If the Board approves this request, they will be enablers for a voting machine vendor that has demonstrated when they can’t win approval on merit, they are willing to force approval by litigation; a vendor that believes that the voices of voters, legislators, and election officials around New York State are but a minor annoyance that can be ignored at their choosing; ultimately, a vendor that believes that their right to profit supersedes the requirements of the law, the voters, and democracy.

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