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Cybersecurity and Elections

election-cybersecurityForty members of the National Assocation of Secretaries of State (NASS) serve as their state's designated chief election official (CEO), overseeing the conduct of elections according to law. The security and integrity of the voting process is central to this role, which includes routine cyber preparedness and contingency planning for election systems. Providing administrative and technical support for local election officials is also an important part of this work.

Election officials spent the run-up to the November 2016 presidential election on high alert for cyber threats to the online portions of state election systems (note: voting machines - where actual votes are cast - are not networked or connected to the Internet). No credible evidence of hacking, or attempted hacking to influence voting outcomes, was ever presented.

As our federal intelligence agencies have repeatedly emphasized, state and local autonomy over elections is our greatest asset against malicious attacks and systemic fraud or rigging. There is no way to disrupt the voting process in any large-scale, meaningful way through cyberattacks because there is NO NATIONAL SYSTEM to target and state election systems do not have a lot of Internet connectivity. As a result, officials at all levels of government have affirmed the structural integrity of our electoral process.

In preparing for future elections, Secretaries of State will continue to emphasize election security, both cyber and physical, in state-level contingency planning for elections. NASS is working with a diverse array of federal and state stakeholders to encourage information-sharing and sound state policymaking as part of this process.

Additional information will be posted to this page as it becomes available.

Responses to DHS Critical Infrastructure Designation for Elections

Election 2016: State Alerts/Announcements

Federal Alerts/Announcements

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