After 15 Years, New Voting System Guidelines Bolster Election Security, But Challenges Remain

Today the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) unanimously adopted the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) 2.0. Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG) are a set of specifications and requirements against which voting systems can be tested to determine if the systems meet required standards. The standards govern security of the voting systems, functionality and accessibility. The Help America Vote Act mandates that the EAC develop and maintain these requirements. While many states require voting systems to conform to these standards, not all states mandate that compliance.

The effort concluded over 15 years of drafting, stakeholder engagement, review, and is the first complete set of new guidelines issued and improved in 15 years.

Statement of Susannah Goodman, Common Cause Director of Election Security

“Americans expect and deserve secure elections, and these new guidelines represent a down payment to help ensure that security. Today’s guidelines are an improvement over the decades old guidelines that have been in use. Important concepts like software independence are now part of the guidelines. However, we at Common Cause will continue to work with voters, cyber security experts, and election officials to require that voting systems, voting processes, and rules are responsive to the ubiquitous threats that exist so that the machinery of our democracy is resilient. We will continue to press for more robust and comprehensive standards for voting systems and procedures.”