The Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) held its summer meeting virtually today to discuss Election Day preparations and other areas of coordination between the federal government and state and local election officials. The members of the GCC Executive Committee – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Assistant Director Bob Kolasky, U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair Benjamin Hovland, National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) Immediate-past President Paul Pate, National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) President Lori Augino, and Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford – released the following statement after today’s meeting:
“The election community is more unified, more coordinated, and better prepared than ever before. We are in the final stretch leading up to the 2020 elections, and there is no doubt we have a challenging road ahead. The pandemic has changed the way some will cast their ballots this year and the threat of foreign interference remains. However, as an election community, we are practiced and prepared to take these challenges head on and ensure American voters decide American elections.
“Election officials are swiftly adapting their operations to ensure every voter is able to cast a ballot in a safe and secure manner. The federal government is actively monitoring for threats against our systems and foreign disinformation activity, and is providing resources and support to help keep our election infrastructure secure.
“All 50 states and the District of Columbia, and numerous counties now have intrusion detection sensors protecting their election infrastructure, and public and private sector cybersecurity professionals have conducted hundreds of assessments on state and local networks, including penetration testing, phishing campaign assessments, and vulnerability assessments. We recently held a nationwide Tabletop the Vote exercise with participation from 37 states and 2,100 participants. Every state and more than 2,700 local jurisdictions are members of the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC), allowing for technical information on threats to be shared in real-time. The GCC also enables broader and more holistic discussions of best practices and managing risk.
“Elections will look different this year, but we want voters to know our election community is ready and taking active measures to ensure every ballot is counted as cast. We also want to take this opportunity to remind voters they can also play an important role in this nationwide effort.
“Voters should turn to their state or local election officials for accurate, up-to-date information about when, where, and how to vote. On election night, be patient and remember that unofficial election results may not be available as quickly as in years past, which is to be expected. Election officials are counting ballots as efficiently as possible. Protecting the 2020 elections requires a team effort, and everyone has a role to play.”