For Immediate Release
August 5, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC - The National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) today released the following statement regarding cyber security and election readiness:
"The security of voting systems is a top priority for election administrators across America.
With the November 8 presidential election quickly approaching, it is important to remain vigilant against cyber threats and vulnerabilities, without unnecessarily raising public alarm.
To date, there has been no indication from national security agencies to states that any specific or credible threat exists when it comes to cyber security and the November 2016 general election.
However, as a routine part of any election cycle, Secretaries of State and their local government counterparts work with federal partners, such as the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), to maintain rigorous testing and certification standards for voting systems. Risk management practices and controls, including the physical handling and storage of voting equipment, are important elements of this work.
State election offices also proactively utilize election IT professionals and security experts to regularly review, identify and address any vulnerabilities with systems, including voter registration databases and election night reporting systems (which display the unofficial tallies that are ultimately verified via statewide canvassing).
A national hacking of the election is highly improbable due to our unique, decentralized process. Each state and locality conducts its own system of voting, complete with standards and security requirements for equipment and software. Most states publicly conduct logic and accuracy testing of their machines prior to the election to ensure that they are working and tabulating properly, then they are sealed until Election Day to prevent tampering.
Furthermore, electronic voting machines are not Internet-based and do not connect to each other online.
Following the election, state and local jurisdictions conduct a canvass to review vote counting, ultimately producing the election results that are officially certified. Post-election audits help to further guard against deliberate manipulation of the election, as well as unintentional software, hardware or programming problems.
We look forward to continued information-sharing with federal partners in order to evaluate cyber risks, and respond to them accordingly, as part of ongoing state election emergency preparedness planning for November.
The goal is to deliver a process that is not only safe and secure, but also fair, accurate and accessible."
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.
Contact: Kay Stimson, NASS Director of Communications
202-624-3528 | [email protected]
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