Election Security

Elections play a vital role in a free and fair society and are a cornerstone of American democracy. We recognize the fundamental link between the trust in election infrastructure and the confidence the American public places in basic democratic function. A secure and resilient electoral process is a vital national interest and one of our highest priorities at the Department of Homeland Security.

We are committed to working collaboratively with those on the front lines of elections – state and local government, election officials, federal partners and the vendor community – to manage risks to election infrastructure. We will remain transparent as well as agile to combat and secure our physical and cyber infrastructure against new and evolving threats.

“The American public’s confidence that their vote counts – and is counted correctly — relies on secure election infrastructure”

– Kirstjen Nielsen
Secretary of Homeland Security
(2017-2019)

US Electoral Process

Infographic of the U.S. Electoral Process, including preelection activities, election day activities, and postelection activities.
U.S. Electoral Process Infographic[1] (386.1 KB PDF)

What is Election Infrastructure?

Election Infrastructure includes but is not limited to:

  • Voter registration databases and associated IT systems
  • IT infrastructure and systems used to manage elections (such as the counting, auditing and displaying of election results, and post-election reporting to certify and validate results)
  • Voting systems and associated infrastructure
  • Storage facilities for election and voting system infrastructure
  • Polling places, to include early voting locations

Election Infrastructure does not include:

  • Political action committees
  • Campaigns
  • Or any other non-state or local government election related group

Election infrastructure was designated as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure as a subsector under the Government Facilities sector[2] in January 2017. Under the designation, DHS – through its Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency[3] (CISA) – provides an array of services that state and local election officials can utilize to reduce both cyber and physical risk to their election systems and facilities. The designation allows DHS to provide services on a prioritized basis at the request of state and local election officials. The designation also brings the structure and support of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan[4] (NIPP) to bear on behalf of the election infrastructure community. NIPP advances critical infrastructure security and resilience through partnership and innovation.

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