US chooses two hopefuls to review for future e-voting tests

Just days after the US government decided to bar Ciber from testing anymore e-voting terminals due to its perpetual negligence, it now seems that a pair of Colorado-based outfits are next in line to take over those duties. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has recently recommended that iBeta Quality Assurance and SysTest Labs "be granted final clearance to test the systems" after a "comprehensive technical evaluation of the laboratories' processes based on the international standard ISO/IEC 17025, which covers general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories." Now it seems the final hammer resides in the hands of the US Election Assistance Commission, which is "a federal agency that has sole authority to grant full accreditation to the labs." SysTest Labs isn't new to this e-voting QA game, as the firm was already granted "interim" accreditation and is now awaiting the official seal to keep up the (presumably) good work. Notably, the EAC stated that they would be focusing their efforts now on "non-technical issues such as conflict of interest policies, organizational structure, and record-keeping protocols," but we're not so confident all the hardware checks are as robust as they should be just yet. Nevertheless, we shouldn't count on hearing anything final for quite some time, as this apparently lengthy "review process" somehow takes between 9 and 18 months to complete, so in the meantime we'll just see how many more Americans ditch the whole "voting" idea due to issues like voting in triplicate, getting distracted by board games, or simply obliterating their machine in frustration. [Warning: PDF read link]

[Via Slashdot]