The Importance of Functional Standards to Promote Innovation in Voting System Technology

Daniel Castro December 11, 2007
December 11, 2007

The Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC), a committee authorized by the Help America Vote Act, has released to the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) its recommended voluntary voting system guidelines (VVSG). These guidelines include significant changes that would eliminate the use of existing direct recording electronic (DRE) voting systems in the majority of states if the EAC adopts their recommendations.

In this statement, delivered to the EAC at a public meeting on December 11 in Austin, TX, ITIF Senior Analyst Daniel Castro discusses these recommended guidelines and the importance of innovation for improving our voting technology. Specifically, this statement discusses the need for functional standards, as opposed to design standards, to promote innovation in voting systems. It also finds fault with the recommendation that all voting systems be “software independent” and describes how the real goal of any voting system is to be “human independent.”