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Protect the Ballot

Mail-In Voting Security

Mail-in voting
Mail-in voting

Protect the Ballot

Mail-In Voting Security

The cybersecurity focus for the election has shifted to protecting a more low-tech method of casting votes: ballots filled out by hand and mailed in by voters. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency has provided checklists of practical steps states can take to keep elections safe.

Deepfakes

Beware of Deepfakes

Deepfakes
Deepfakes

Deepfakes

Beware of Deepfakes

“Deepfake” videos that alter a person's voice and appearance have already been used to fabricate versions of real politicians saying and doing things that never happened. There are worries that malicious actors may combine selective editing with basic software to alter or obscure a politician’s meaning.

Election Security

Partner to Confront Threats

Election Security
Election Security

Election Security

Partner to Confront Threats

While voting systems and election security rest squarely with state and local officials, federal authorities are here to help. Election systems are critical infrastructure in the eyes of the Department of Homeland Security, which is leading the federal charge on cybersecurity ahead of November.

The Department of Homeland Security plays a key role in advising state and local governments on election cybersecurity threats. DHS also provides technical support and is a critical partner for the officials who actually carry out elections. Through Nov. 3 and beyond, we’ll be keeping track of key developments in election cybersecurity and speaking with top experts in the field.

Protecting Voter Data

How is election data, especially voter registration information, transmitted and protected?

It’s collected by 3,141 counties/county-equivalents, it lives in 116,990 polling places (including 8,616 early voting stations) and is seen by 917,614 poll workers

Find out how federal authorities are working with states on election security

The data doesn't stay in one place. It moves between:

> A vote registration and the board of elections

> Local jurisdiction and state agencies

> The master database and the internet

> The polling place and the board of elections

Learn why coordination is key to election cybersecurity 

These are among the best ways to protect voting information:

> Cybersecurity training for workers

> Multifactor authentication

> Intrusion and malware detection

> Encrypted transmission and/or use of protected LANs.

Find out how DHS can provide technological assistance on election security 

Malicious actors can employ these methods to attack the voting system:

> Ransomware: Locks a county out of its own network

Protective measures:

> Cybersecurity training for workers

> Intrusion and malware detection

Discover why voter registration databases are top targets for attacks

Denial of service:

> Slows or prevents access to a site and causes delays that can disrupt and discourage voting

Protective measures:

> Intrusion and malware detection

> Penetration testing

> Firewalls and access control lists

Altering an official website:

> Introduces inconsistencies and inaccuracies

Protective measures:

> Role-based access security

> Multifactor authentication

> Intrusion and malware detection

> Complete system inventory

Voter information is more vulnerable than a vote, for several reasons:

> Polling booths are not internet-connected

> Scantron machines retain the original paper ballots

> Mail-in votes are closely monitored by election officials

> While electronic voting exists, it is rarely conducted online

Learn how mail-in ballots are being secured

Sources:
U.S. Census Bureau; U.S. Geological Survey; U.S. Election Assistance Commission; Center for Democracy and Technology; National Conference of State Legislatures; Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
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Election Security

Insider Exclusive

Hear from Election Security Experts

FedTech Insider
FedTech Insider

Insider Exclusive

Hear from Election Security Experts

Through Nov. 3 and beyond, we'll be keeping track of key developments in election cybersecurity and speaking with top experts in the field. Become an insider for access to exclusive Q&A’s and articles. You’ll also gain access to a personalized dashboard that makes it easy to stay up to date on the latest in federal government IT.

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