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Election Advisory No. 2023-12

To: County Election Officers
From: Christina Worrell Adkins, Director of Elections
Christina Adkins signature
Date: August 22, 2023
RE: Texas Certification Procedures for Electronic Pollbooks

Texas Election Code Section 31.014 directs the Texas Secretary of State to prescribe specific requirements and standards for the certification of an electronic device used to accept voters under Chapter 63 of the Texas Election Code.

To meet this requirement, the Secretary of State adopted specific standards for the certification of electronic pollbook systems on October 1, 2019. The Secretary of State has prescribed updated versions of those standards for the certification of electronic pollbook systems. The updated standards are outlined in the following documents:

  1. Texas Certification Procedures for Electronic Pollbooks (PDF): This document outlines the application requirements, certification process, the annual recertification process, and the timeline for completion of certification. It also contains information regarding modifications to certified electronic pollbooks and the timeline for the SOS to modify or amend electronic pollbook standards.
  2. Texas Electronic Pollbook Functional Standards (PDF): This document outlines the legal requirements for certification of an electronic pollbook system. Each system is reviewed by SOS staff to verify that the system satisfies each of these requirements for certification.
  3. Texas Electronic Pollbook Test Cases (PDF): This document outlines the step-by-step procedures for testing the system’s compliance with the Functional Standards and the Requirements for Electronic Pollbook Forms.
  4. Texas Requirements for Electronic Pollbook Forms (PDF): This document outlines the specific requirements for individual forms used within the pollbook, including the required data fields that must be included in each form.
  5. Texas Technical Testing Matrix for Electronic Pollbooks (PDF): This document outlines the technical requirements for certification of an electronic pollbook system. The systems are reviewed by a NIST-certified testing lab to verify that the system satisfies each of these technical requirements, and the lab will produce a report that will be provided to the Texas Secretary of State along with the vendor’s Application for Certification.
  6. Application for Certification (PDF): This document serves as the application for certification of an electronic pollbook system. The application, along with accompanying technical documents, must be submitted to the Texas Secretary of State prior to scheduling the in-person functional examination. Details are outlined in the Texas Certification Procedures for Electronic Pollbooks document described in number 1 above.

Modifications to Electronic Pollbook Standards

The Secretary of State periodically updates the standards, requirements, and procedures for pollbook certification to reflect legislative changes or revisions to the procedural requirements for certification. In the event of any such changes, the Secretary of State may require recertification or minor modifications to existing systems to incorporate those changes.

When revisions occur, vendors with current certified systems will receive notification from the Secretary of State regarding the updated requirements before the annual recertification process begins and the timeline required for recertification or minor modification approval. Those updated standards will also be made available on the Secretary of State’s website for new vendors or members of the public to review.

Please contact us at 1-800-252-VOTE (8683) or at elections@sos.texas.gov if you have any questions.

CA:CP