SECURING THE VOTE
Free, fair, and open elections are foundational to democracy. Ensuring voting data integrity underpins public trust in election results. However, the rise of geopolitical, criminal and insider cyberattacks, in addition to information operations campaigns, threaten to weaken public trust in elections. With confidence in election integrity at stake, validating and delivering secure and resilient cyber security capabilities ahead of the 2022 midterm and 2024 Presidential elections are major challenges requiring focus and investment to properly plan and implement. Establishing modern election security tenets, practices, and capabilities that account for cyber and informationbased threats is crucial to maintaining trust in the democratic electoral system.
Similar to other critical national infrastructure, such as energy, telecommunications, and transportation, attacks on election infrastructure could have significant national and international impacts. Exposure of voter registration rolls, for example, could expose voters’ personally identifiable information (PII). Theft, manipulation, or destruction of voter registration rolls could result in challenges to cast votes. Defacements of state or local websites announcing information on where and when to vote could mislead, confuse, or impact people’s ability to cast their vote. Successful attacks against voting devices, networks, or results could bring data integrity, agency neutrality, and national independence into sharp, international focus. In the modern age, where nearly all aspects of this infrastructure are digitized, protecting election infrastructure from cyber threats requires a strategic and whole-of-community approach, involving support from both the public and private sectors.
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