October 24, 2005

GAO Report Concludes That Integrity of 2006 Elections Cannot Be Ensured

The Government Accountability Office has issued a long awaited report on the integrity or lack thereof of electronic voting methods, and has concluded that:

Multiple organizations have compiled
recommended practices for vendors and election officials to use to
improve the security and reliability of voting systems, and EAC [the Election Assistance Commission] has
initiated activities to improve voluntary voting system standards, system
testing programs, and management support to state and local election
authorities. However, important initiatives are unlikely to affect the 2006
elections due, at least in part, to delays in the appointment of EAC
commissioners and in funding the commission. Specifically, key security related
improvements to voting system standards will not be completed in
time, improvements to the national system certification program are not
yet in place, and efforts to provide management support to state and local
jurisdictions through a software library and information sharing on
problems and recommended practices remain incomplete. Further, EAC
has not consistently defined plans, processes, and time frames for
completing these activities, and as a result, it is unclear when their results
will be available to assist state and local election officials. Until these
efforts are completed, there is a risk that many state and local jurisdictions
will rely on voting systems that were not developed, acquired, tested,
operated, or managed in accordance with rigorous security and reliability
standards—potentially affecting the reliability of future elections and voter
confidence in the accuracy of the vote count.

Full Copy of Report

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