January 3, 2007 | By Matt Zimmerman

Feds Shut Down E-voting Certification Lab

Colorado-based Ciber Inc., the largest laboratory that tests software used in U.S. voting systems, has been temporarily banned from approving new systems following problems discovered last summer by the Election Assistance Commission. In July, the EAC began a new oversight program that increased the level of scrutiny that independent testing authorities ("ITAs") must satisfy in order to be able to review candidate voting systems. The EAC found that Ciber was not following proper quality-control procedures and could not document that it was conducting all the required tests. Ciber's renewed petition for accreditation is currently under EAC review.

The ITA review process, largely closed and funded by voting machine vendors themselves, is regularly criticized for its lack of transparency and procedures that are insufficient to ensure that systems are accurate and secure.

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