I'm catching up on voting system news after being out of commission for a few weeks, so you will probably see a flurry of activity here over the next few days. (Some of my posts may seem backwards since I'm working from the most recent back in my Google alerts.)
Let's start here. The National Institute of Standards and Technology has just issued draft standards for testing voting systems. The public comment period ends July 1, 2009.
NIST Tech Beat - Apri1 1, 2009: "NIST Issues Open and Transparent Methods for Testing Electronic Voting SystemsI haven't looked at the draft yet, and I'm not a geek, so I may not be able to understand them when I do look, but here are the questions that immediately occur to me:
GAITHERSBURG, MD – The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today opened for public comment detailed new methods for testing future electronic voting systems' compliance with voluntary federal standards. Touch screens, optical scanners and other kinds of electronic voting systems now appear at polls across the nation.
The new draft tests can be viewed at http://vote.nist.gov/voting-system-test-suites.htm."
- What can I count on if a machine passes these tests? Does it mean that the machine is tamper-proof?
- Is every machine placed in a polling place certified, or just the company's prototype?
- If a machine is serviced for a problem or software update, is it re-certified? If not, how do I know it hasn't been messed with?