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EAC Certifies ES&S Unity Voting System PDF  | Print |  Email
By EAC Media Release   
July 21, 2009
The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today certified the Unity optical scan voting system by Election Systems & Software to the 2002 Voting System Standards. It is the second voting system to achieve federal certification under the EAC Voting System Testing and Certification Program.

An EAC certification means that a voting system has met the requirements of the federal guidelines by passing a series of comprehensive tests conducted by a federally accredited test laboratory. Manufacturers of certified systems must also meet technical and ethical standards that ensure the integrity of the process and the system as it goes from the test lab to production and into the marketplace.

Laboratory test plans, test reports and related information about the Unity are posted at, along with an outline describing each step of the certification process.

Certification became official today with ES&S demonstrating compliance with the following final certification requirements:

--Rebuild the voting system in a trusted environment, known as a "trusted build" (this is performed by the accredited test lab)
--Provide software identification tools to EAC so that whoever purchases the system can verify its authenticity --Provide voting system software for EAC repository
--Agree in writing to all EAC certification conditions and program requirements

Launched in 2007, EAC's certification program marks the first time the federal government has tested and certified voting systems. The program is authorized by the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), and is voluntary--states are not required to use EAC-certified voting systems, or to test their systems against federal standards. At least 12 states require the use of federally certified voting machines. EAC certified its first voting system, a direct recording electronic (DRE) device called the MicroVote EMS 4.0, on February 6, 2009.

Seven voting systems remain in EAC's Testing and Certification Program. They include Dominion Voting Democracy Suite, ES&S Unity and Unity w. ATS 1.3, ES&S Unity 4.0, Premier (formerly Diebold) Assure 1.2, Sequoia WinEDS 4.0.34, Unisyn OpenElect Voting System, and Avante Optical Vote-Trakker. To participate in the program, manufacturers must register with the EAC, fill out an application, and select a federally accredited test laboratory to conduct testing to the applicable voting system guidelines.

EAC Quality Monitoring ProgramEAC monitors all voting systems it certifies through its Quality Monitoring Program. The program requires manufacturers to submit reports whenever a federally certified system experiences an irregularity. It also requires manufacturers to notify EAC if it modifies a certified system's hardware, software or firmware. EAC will also conduct site visits of accredited test laboratories and participating manufacturer facilities.

Real Time Program Updates The public is notified about program updates through an RSS feed, weekly newsletter, press releases and frequent updates at Visitors can access thousands of documents about testing and certification, including test plans and reports, correspondence, registered participants and other program updates. A video about the process is also available on the EAC Web site.
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