Over a dozen leading computer and election security experts wrote to the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to urge the agency to adopt a firm policy to phase out old, outdated voting system standards, in a letter organized by Free Speech For People. 

The EAC is responsible for running the federal voting system testing and certification program, which currently tests systems to standards developed in 2005. The EAC adopted more rigorous standards in 2015, but failed to enforce a transition to the 2015 standards. Instead, it allowed the vendors to opt to continue to test their systems to the older, more lenient standards, and still obtain the seal of “federal certification.”  As a result, no vendor has sought certification under the 2015 standards, and there is no system on the market that meets the 2015 standards. 

In early 2021, the EAC again adopted updated standards, but several of the policies EAC has proposed to transition to the new standards include loopholes which could, once again, allow the vendors to evade testing their systems to the newer standards for years or indefinitely. The experts’ letter urges the EAC to reject policies that would offer the vendors opportunities to avoid the new standards, and to adopt and enforce a firm and responsible timeline to phase out outdated standards. 

“History shows that the EAC is only too willing to cave to the voting system vendors and allow the vendors to successfully avoid testing their systems to more rigorous standards, while still obtaining a ‘federally certified’ designation,”  Free Speech For People Senior Advisor on Election Security Susan Greenhalgh told the Washington Post. 

Read the letter here.