Voting System Approval

Under California law, a voting system and any modification to a voting system must be approved by the Secretary of State before it can be used in any election. 

When a voting system is brought to California for review, the Secretary of State conducts a thorough examination and review of the proposed system that includes:

  • Review of the application and documentation;
  • End-to-end functional examination and testing;
  • Volume testing under election-like conditions of all voting devices used by the voter;
  • Security testing that includes a full source code review and penetration testing;
  • Accessibility examination and testing; and
  • Public hearing and public comment period.

The Secretary of State’s examination and review process is designed to test the system for compliance with the California Voting System Standards. Here is a summary of the key differences between the EAC and California processes:

DescriptionEACCalifornia
Application & Documentation A technical data package (TDP) is submitted by the vendor to the EAC. The TDP identifies the voting system design, operation, functionality, hardware, software, security, maintenance, and other system requirements. The California Voting System Standards section 9 describes the technical data package that shall be submitted by the vendor.
Software Examines system source code for its compliance with the EAC’s Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG). Examines system source code for compliance with the California Voting Systems Standards.
Security Determines if the system can detect, prevent, log and recover form a broad range of security risks. Examines the system for compliance with California Voting Systems Standards.
Hardware Evaluates whether the voting system hardware can withstand exposure to environmental conditions, including varying and extreme temperatures, humidity, vibrations, and inconsistent voltage.

Evaluates the hardware to the California Voting System Standards.

Functional Determines if the voting system can perform each function required by federal law.

Determines if the voting system can perform to the standards required by the California Voting System Standards.

Accessibility Requires vendor to provide the EAC with results from third-party accessibility testing.

Independently contracts with third-party accessibility experts to conduct accessibility testing.

Voting System Application