WASHINGTON – The House Administration Committee and the House Science Committee will hold a joint hearing Wednesday to review new federal voluntary standards for voting equipment, which were issued late last year, to see if they are likely to improve the accuracy and security of voting, and to see if states are likely to adopt the standards.

The new standards, known as the Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines, were required by the Help America Vote Act, which was enacted in 2002. Under the Act, the Election Assistance Commission promulgates the standards, based on recommendations from the Technical Guidelines Development Committee, which is chaired by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The language in the Act regarding the standards was written by the House Science Committee and the House Administration Committee.

Specifically, the hearing will explore the following overarching questions:

  1. Are the new voting equipment standards, if adopted, likely to improve the accuracy and security of voting? What additional elements, if any, are needed to improve the standards? When should the standards be updated?
  2. Are states likely to adopt the new voting equipment standards? What needs to be done, if anything, to make the new standards more useful for states and voting equipment manufacturers?
  3. What is the status of certifying the labs, known as Voting System Testing Laboratories, which will test voting equipment to see if it complies with standards?
  4. How will the new standards, particularly those sections that addressing human factors in voting, improve the usability and accessibility of voting systems?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Committee on Science and Committee on House Administration– Joint Hearing

Voting Machines: Will the New Standards and Guidelines Help Prevent Future Problems?

2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

2318 Rayburn House Office Building (WEBCAST)


  • Ms. Donetta Davidson - Commissioner, Election Assistance Commission;
  • Dr. William Jeffrey - Director, National Institute of Standards and Technology;
  • Ms. Mary Kiffmeyer - Secretary of State for Minnesota;
  • Ms. Linda Lamone - Administrator of Elections, Maryland State Board of Elections;
  • Mr. John Groh - Chairman, Election Technology Council, Information Technology Association of America
  • Dr. David Wagner - Professor of Computer Science, University of California at Berkeley.

The hearing charter, which provides detailed background information on the hearing, is available on the Science Committee website. Member opening statements and witness testimony will also be posted to the website at the start of the hearing.

The hearing will be available via live webcast on the Committee website, home page . For more information, please contact the Committee press office at (202) 225-8281.