VIP developed its own standard format, the VIP
Specification, which makes data interoperable across platforms and
applications, and ultimately more easily disseminated to voters. As VIP has evolved, so has its data standard. The VIP Specification,
or VIP 5.1, provides greater structure to the data and makes some elements
required that have previously been optional. VIP expects this will
result in faster processing time because it allows less room for data errors, and
will be viewed as a more straight forward and intuitive format for election
officials to implement.
Development of VIP 5.1 began early in 2015 and was a collaborative effort between Pew, Google, state and local election officials, and other organizations affiliated with VIP. Additionally, VIP 5.1 uses elements from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s voting specification, which is currently used by states across the country. VIP will continue to support its most recent version, VIP 3.0, indefinitely.