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EAC Accredits Voting System Test Labs PDF  | Print |  Email
By EAC Media Release   
February 21, 2007
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today voted during a public meeting to accredit iBeta Quality Assurance and SysTest Labs under the commission's full voting system test lab accreditation program. Visit www.eac.gov www.eac.gov for more information about these labs.

 

"For the very first time, the federal government is in the business of testing and certifying voting equipment and software," said EAC Chair Donetta Davidson. "With these two voting system test labs on board, we will begin the process of testing voting equipment to ensure that these systems meet all of the requirements to ensure accurate and reliable elections."

 

iBeta Quality Assurance and SysTest Labs were accredited by the Commission after being recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and after an independent EAC review to address non-technical issues such as conflict-of-interest policies, organizational structure, and recordkeeping protocols. These labs will test against both the 2002 Voting System Standards and the 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines.

 

Voting System Test Laboratory Accreditation Program

 

The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 mandates that EAC assume federal responsibility for accrediting voting system test laboratories and for certifying voting equipment. The accreditation program follows the procedures mandated by HAVA. This includes review of the labs by NIST, through its National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). NIST then provides recommendations to the EAC regarding laboratory accreditation. For more information about the NIST/NVLAP accreditation process and to view related documents, visit www.vote.nist.gov www.vote.nist.gov.

 

Interim Voting System Test Laboratory Accreditation Program

 

At a public meeting on February 8, 2007, the commission voted to stop accepting applications or additional information related to pending applications to its interim test laboratory accreditation program, effective March 5, 2007, citing the onset of the full accreditation program. EAC's interim laboratory accreditation program was put in place until NIST delivered its first list of recommended labs for the full accreditation program, a process mandated by HAVA.  Under the interim program, test laboratories were accredited to test voting systems only to the 2002 standards, not the 2005 Voluntary Voting System Guidelines.  SysTest Labs and Wyle Laboratories received interim accreditation. Ciber Inc. applied for interim accreditation and has until March 5, 2007, to submit all of the information requested by EAC.  If Ciber Inc. meets all of the requirements by this date, the Commission will make a final determination regarding its interim accreditation. Information about the interim accreditation program and the labs is available at www.eac.gov www.eac.gov.

 

Background

 

EAC's Voting System Certification and Laboratory Accreditation Program represents the first time the federal government will accredit test laboratories and certify voting equipment. In the past, these functions were performed on a volunteer basis by the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), which did not receive any federal funds. Participation in EAC's program is voluntary. However, approximately 39 states required NASED certification in the past, and EAC anticipates these states will now require the federal certification EAC will provide.

 

EAC is an independent bipartisan commission created by HAVA.  It is charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, implementing election administration improvements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, accrediting test laboratories, certifying voting systems and serving as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. The Commission is also responsible for auditing the use of HAVA funds.

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