Securing election infrastructure is a national security priority. Threats to election systems are constantly evolving, so defending these systems requires constant vigilance, innovation, and adaptation. State and local election officials nationwide are responsible for the operation and administration of elections. As the lead federal agency responsible for securing the Nation’s elections, CISA partners with election owners, operators, and other stakeholders to enhance the security and resilience of election infrastructure, and to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the free and fair elections foundational to the American way of life.
#Protect2020 focuses on building outreach programs to engage local election officials in the over 8,000 election jurisdictions across the country in order to further assist elections officials’ efforts to identify and plan for potential vulnerabilities to election infrastructure ahead of and during the 2020 election season. In addition to engaging election officials, CISA’s 2020 efforts include engaging political campaigns, political parties, and political committees at the national level as the work to prepare for the 2020 elections.
#Protect2020 is being executed in coordination with the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (EI-GCC) through the focusing of election security efforts to the alignment of five key priorities:
- Increase engagement and support to local level elections officials
- Increase awareness of risks associated with inconsistent and insufficient resources
- Mature risk initiatives through Sector Specific Agency Councils
- Apply lessons-learned from 2018 to review and refine the communications mechanisms and content supporting the subsector
- Drive improved security practices in future election infrastructure
In addition to executing these priorities, CISA has outlined ambitious goals for the 2020 elections. These goals include:
- Achieving 100 percent auditability by 2020 so that all votes cast in 2020 and subsequent elections have a corresponding auditable record
- Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of audits
- Incentivizing the patching of election systems
- Working with states to develop current and target Cybersecurity profiles by utilizing the NIST framework
- Increasing election officials' awareness and participation in Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC), Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS), CISA's free election services, Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center membership, and Albert sensor deployment
- Increased adoption of cyber best practices by state, local, tribal and territorial (SLTT) governments
Ensuring that the United States' electoral process is secure and resilient is one of CISA's top priorities. Through #Protect2020, CISA is partnering with election community stakeholders to ensure the continued vitality of the fair and free elections that characterize American democracy.
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