WEC Approves Election Systems and Software EVS 6.0.4.0 and EVS 6.0.5.0 Electronic Voting Systems

Priority

Information Only

Date

To

Wisconsin County Clerks
Wisconsin Municipal Clerks
City of Milwaukee Election Commission
Milwaukee County Election Commission

From

Meagan Wolfe, Administrator

On September 24, 2019, the Wisconsin Elections Commission (“Commission”) approved Election Systems and Software (ES&S) EVS 6.0.4.0 and EVS 6.0.5.0 voting systems for sale and use in the State of Wisconsin.  

As a condition of approval, the Commission determined any municipality using a ballot marking device approved as part of EVS 6.0.4.0 or EVS 6.0.5.0, must include ballots marked by that device as part of the pre-audited group of ballots used to conduct its pre-election logic and accuracy voting equipment test, under Wis. Stat. § 5.84(1).  While the inclusion of ballots marked by a device in the pre-election logic and accuracy test has always been a best practice recommendation, the Commission specifically required those ballots be included when EVS 6.0.4.0 or EVS 6.0.5.0 are used at an election.  

No electronic voting equipment may be offered for sale or utilized in Wisconsin unless the Commission first approves it.  The following provides a brief description of the ES&S voting systems recently approved for use in Wisconsin:

A.    EVS 6.0.4.0

EVS 6.0.4.0 is a federally-tested and certified paper-based, digital scan voting system powered by the ElectionWare software platform.  It consists of six major components: an election management system (EMS) server; an EMS client (desktop and/or laptop computer); the ExpressVote, an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant vote capture device for a polling place; the DS200, a polling place scanner and tabulator; the DS450, a mid-range scanner and tabulator for a central count location; and the DS850, a high-speed scanner and tabulator for a central count location.   

WEC staff also tested a separate version of the ExpressVote which both marks and tabulates ExpressVote ballot cards.  The Commission did not certify this ExpressVote configuration for use in Wisconsin. 

This system also allows for the options of utilizing multi-factor authentication and BitLocker, Microsoft’s propriety hard drive encryption utility, on the client computer that hosts the election management system.  While each of these features is optional, WEC staff strongly recommends implementing both to add additional layers of security to the EMS client. 

B.    EVS 6.0.5.0 

EVS 6.0.5.0 is a federally-tested modification to the EVS 6.0.4.0 voting system.  EVS 6.0.5.0 certification testing was performed only with wireless modems, as there was no analog component submitted for certification. An additional change to EVS 6.0.5.0 is the method of wireless transmission, referred to as a “Zero Tunnel” by ES&S.  The unofficial results data continues to be encrypted and digitally signed but is transmitted via a further encrypted virtual private network (VPN) hosted by Verizon Wireless.  The modeming component of EVS 6.0.5.0 lacks federal certification but has undergone successful functional testing on the state level.  The underlying voting system (EVS 6.0.4.0) is federally certified. 

Per ES&S, an account representative will be contacting all Wisconsin customers regarding extended support for the Windows 7 operating system.  This extended support will be required to ensure that all computers that host election management software receive essential security updates and patches through 2023.  For any additional questions about Windows 7, please contact your ES&S representative. 

For additional information regarding this voting system, please refer to the attached Commission memorandum, certification letter and U.S. Election Assistance Commission certificate.  If you have any questions, please contact the Help Desk at elections@wi.gov or (608) 261-2028.  Thank you.