New York’s State Board of Elections — in concert with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — is conducting a first-of-its-kind series of tabletop exercises focused on protecting the integrity of state electoral systems against cyber-attacks.
Partnering with the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, State Police, and State Intelligence Center, the tabletop exercises will identify areas for improvement in cyber incident planning, preparedness, and response through simulation of realistic scenarios attempting to undermine voter confidence, interfere with voting operations, and affect the integrity of elections.
“We have witnessed firsthand the devastating consequences a compromised election has had on our nation and New York will not stand idle and allow our democracy to be infiltrated once again,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “The people of New York deserve an open, transparent election process they can trust, and these exercises are an integral part of restoring voter confidence and the integrity of our election infrastructure.”
“These exercises in partnership with state and federal agencies will provide the needed training to identify and address potential incidents of cybersecurity when it comes to our electoral process,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. “We’re committed to ensuring that our elections are free from foreign influence, and we will continue to build off our first in the nation legislation that ensures transparency in political advertising and works to protect the integrity of our elections.”
State and local officials, led by the State Board of Elections and new DHSES Cyber Incident Response Team, will utilize information gleaned from six regional tabletop exercises with state, local, and federal stakeholders to identify risks and develop necessary steps to safeguard the election process against a cyber-attack.
The exercises began last week in Albany County and continue this week in Monroe County and Onondaga County.