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Election Assistance Commission
1225 New York Avenue N.W. - Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20005
For Immediate Release Contact:
Jeannie Layson, Sarah Litton
10/29/2008
(202) 566-3100

EAC Announces Intention to Suspend SysTest Labs

Follows Action Taken by National Institute of Standards and Technology

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) today notified SysTest Laboratories Inc. of its intent to suspend the laboratory’s accreditation based upon actions taken by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 


SysTest is one of five laboratories that were accredited by the EAC to test voting systems under the EAC’s voluntary program. The EAC accredited SysTest on February 21, 2007 based on a recommendation from NIST.

NIST suspended SysTest due to numerous non-conformities with the NIST Handbook 150-22 Voting System Testing, which sets forth the procedures, requirements and guidance for the accreditation of testing and calibration laboratories by the National Voting Laboratory Accreditation Program (NVLAP). Non-conformities included failure to create and validate test methods, improper documentation of testing and unqualified personnel.

Section 2.4 of EAC’s Voting System Test Laboratory Program Manual requires all voting system test laboratories to hold “a valid accreditation from NIST/NVLAP.” Pursuant to Section 5.4 of the Manual, the EAC today notified SysTest of the Commission’s intent to suspend its accreditation. SysTest has three days to respond to the EAC’s action. If SysTest cannot refute the NIST suspension, the EAC will suspend SysTest requiring the laboratory to immediately halt all testing under the EAC program. 

As a result of NIST’s action, the EAC program director will issue notification informing manufacturers of their right to request a change of test laboratory in accordance with the EAC program manual.

BACKGROUND
The EAC is operating the federal government’s first voting system certification program. Participation in EAC’s program by the states is voluntary. For more information about the NIST/NVLAP accreditation process and to view related documents, visit www.vote.nist.gov. For a list of registered manufacturers, accredited labs, voting systems applying for certification and other information, click here.

A chronology of SysTest interaction with EAC and NIST/NVLAP follows. The EAC notified the public and election officials throughout this process, and the information cited below is available at www.eac.gov

CHRONOLOGY

 

 
The EAC is an independent commission created by the HAVA. The EAC serves as a national clearinghouse and resource of information regarding election administration. It is charged with administering payments to states and developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and accrediting voting system test laboratories and certifying voting equipment. It is also charged with developing and maintaining a national mail voter registration form. The four EAC commissioners are Rosemary Rodriguez, chair; Donetta Davidson, vice chair; Gracia Hillman and Gineen Beach.
 
 
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