If you have ever looked at the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), you might be overcome by the sheer size of the document and the level of detail included. If your state requires federal certification for the voting systems you use, the VVSG 1.0 (2005) or 1.1 (2015) are the specifications used to test the voting systems against. We all learned a lot from the process of creating and refreshing the VVSG over the years. In the meantime, so much has changed. The technology has changed, the market of voting technology has changed, laws have changed — elections have changed. We all learned a lot from the process of creating and refreshing the VVSG over the years. In the meantime, so much has changed. The technology has changed, the market of voting technology has changed, laws have changed — elections have changed. On September 12, 2017, the Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), a committee formed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Election Assistance Commission (EAC), adopted a new version of the VVSG, which they’re affectionately calling VVSG 2.0.
VVSG 2.0 is 5 pages long. It forms the backbone of what will eventually be a suite of documents that will address detailed specifications and test assertions.
… We are particularly excited about VVSG 2.0 for a number of reasons. First, it was high time they were updated to reflect current and future direction for voting and elections. Second, our Whitney Quesenbery has been deeply involved in this work, and we are proud of her contributions. Third, the new guidelines are much simpler, organized around 15 principles that will ensure accessibility, security, accuracy, and auditability of voting systems. Finally, we are absolutely thrilled that Principle 1 is “High quality design.”
In 2000, no one was thinking about usability and accessibility for voters (let alone election administrators). A “usable” ballot was one that could be tallied and counted by the voting system. We’ve all come a long way.