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NASS Statement on Critical Infrastructure Designation for Elections

For Immediate Release
January 9, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), which represents the nation's chief state election officials, today released the following statement regarding the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's critical infrastructure classification for elections announced on Friday, January 6, 2017:

"U.S. Homeland Secretary Jeh Johnson's announcement of a critical infrastructure classification for election systems is legally and historically unprecedented, raising many questions and concerns for states and localities with authority over the administration of our voting process.

Americans need to know that the November 2016 election - the voting process itself - was not hacked or subject to manipulation in any way. No credible evidence of hacking, including attempted hacking of voting machines or vote counting, was ever presented or discovered in any state. State and local autonomy over elections is our greatest asset against malicious cyberattacks and manipulation. Our decentralized, low-connectivity electoral process is inherently designed to withstand such threats.

While we recognize the need to share information on threats and risk mitigation in our elections at all levels of government, as we did throughout the 2016 cycle, it is unclear why a critical infrastructure classification is now necessary for this purpose. 

As we seek to learn more about the Department ofHomeland Security’s decision, it must be said that no facet of government relies more on public trust and confidence than the American electoral process. We will work to uphold these principles before all else, along with the checks and balances that have served our democracy well for more than 200 years."

For more, visit the NASS Cybersecurity and Elections web page.

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ABOUT NASS

Founded in 1904, NASS is the oldest, nonpartisan professional organization of public officials in the U.S. Membership is open to the 50 states and all U.S. territories. NASS serves as a medium for the exchange of information between states and fosters cooperation in the development of public policy.


 
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