Technical Guidelines Development Committee (TGDC)
Human Factors and Privacy Subcommittee (HFP)*
April 5, 2007


1. Administrative Updates (Allan Eustis)

2. Review of 3/22-23 plenary (Sharon)

3. Issues to discuss for VVSG modifications (Sharon)

a. Should we move privacy section to its own chapter?
b. Vote-by-phone addresses audio-only accessibility but it could be a useful component of an accessible solution at the polling place. Should we modify requirements to allow for component solutions? Would and end-to-end requirement help with this?
c. Vendor usability tests could actually be part of the technical data package the vendor submits. Should these requirements be moved to that volume or kept in the usability and accessibility sections?
d. Usability of handling paper: next steps, work with other STS, CRT team members to address what we can.

4. Other issues.

Attendees: Alexa Scott-Morrison, Allan Eustis, John Cugini, John Gale, John Wack, Mat Masterson (EAC), Nelson Hastings, Sharon Laskowski, Tricia Mason, Whitney Quesenbery

Administrative Items (Allan Eustis):

  • Next TGDC plenary meeting is scheduled for May 21-22, 2007, here at NIST. Informal reception Sunday night May 20th, 6pm to 8 pm.
  • All material from the March TGDC meeting is posted, including the adopted resolutions and the unofficial closed caption transcripts, as well as the power point presentations.
  • There will essentially be subcommittee teleconference calls once a week for each subcommittee until the May meeting. (see: )

Performance Benchmark Testing Update: There are three sets of tests, two of which Sharon Laskowski can report to the TGDC in May. The 3rd big test is set for June 1-2. HFP will be writing the draft requirements and placeholder for the metrics from the June test, these numbers can be revised.

VVSG Modifications:

Whitney mentioned that we need to make sure that we write requirements that allow for the creation of voting systems that are affordable for very small districts as well as very large and/or complex districts. Costs of voting systems should include the cost of maintaining these systems as well. EAC is holding a Cost of Testing Summit (April 30-May 1) that will cover every possible cost we can imagine from testing systems to maintenance.

Should privacy be its own chapter? This is a very important concept, we don't want it to get buried, but is it worth restructuring this late in the game. It was decided that "privacy" would be added to the chapter title and the subsection would be moved up, right after performance requirements.

Vote-by-phone: There was a lengthy discussion on the use of vote-by-phone and how accessible these systems were. Vote-by-phone would be good for voters with low vision or blind voters. Accessible voting systems must cover all type of accessibility. We can write the requirement that all polling stations must have at least one system that meets all the requirements of the usability section, providing a unified solution for all disabilities. We also need to make sure that requirements are written such that when a system is certified through the accessibility section, it must also be a HAVA compliant system. One of the major concerns and issues with vote-by-phone is use by voters with dexterity disabilities. If the VVSG has an end-to-end accessibility requirement, the vendor that submits a vote-by-phone system would also have to submit what the end-to-end solution would be in order for it to be certified as an accessible voting system. The current draft of the HFP section has a draft requirement for the end-to-end accessibility requirement.

Vendor usability tests could actually be part of the technical data package the vendor submits. Should these requirements be moved to that volume or kept in the usability and accessibility sections? If we move it to the technical data package it may become lost and it will loose its readability factor. Suggestions were made to either put it in both sections, or put links from the technical data package back to the usability section. David Flater of the CRT subcommittee may have some issues with this. When compiling the final VVSG, they (CRT) are trying to keep similar types of requirements together. Sharon will talk to David.

Usability of handling paper: (clarified that this is in reference to poll workers): There was lengthy discussion on what was needed on this issue. The durability of the paper issue is out of HFP's scope. Sharon Laskowski will be getting together with John Kelsey of STS regarding the VVPAT section to make sure that usability is covered. There are lots of requirements for easily identifying the paper rolls and linking them to the machines they came from. It was suggested that bar codes be used also for this, as long as the barcodes only contained information already on the sheet and did not include any ballot information. John Wack thought that STS had an issue with using barcodes. Nelson Hastings will take this issue back to STS. (Whitney feels that there would have to be a serious security issue for removing this option as a possibility.) There was major concern over font sizes for auditing. Question at issue: Is the current font requirements for voters good enough for the poll worker requirements? Concern was expressed over the difference in what was necessary when doing a small audit versus doing a recount of the votes. Sharon summarized saying that 3.0 (font size) for paper rolls was fine if you have small audits; for larger audit, some other means to do the counting, such as barcodes, would be needed.

John Wack was not in agreement with HFP. John Gale pointed out that poll workers were hired to do a particular job, and that they were hired based on their ability to do so by state and local officials. In his experience, it is not necessary for requirements for accessibility to be as strong for poll workers as for voters. Sharon and Whitney will take this offline and try to reach a conclusion.

Other Business:

HFP would like to work with NVLAP representatives on a telcon.
HFP 2007 Next Draft is out for comments.

Our next telecon is scheduled for: Friday, April 13, 2007 at 11 AM ET

[* Pursuant to the Help America Vote Act of 2002, the TGDC is charged with directing NIST in performing voting systems research so that the TGDC can fulfill its role of recommending technical standards for voting equipment to the EAC. This teleconference discussion serves the purposes of the HFP subcommittee of the TGDC to direct NIST staff and coordinate its voting-related research relevant to the VVSG 2007. Discussions on this telecon are preliminary and do not necessarily reflect the views of NIST or the TGDC.]





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