#Countdown18 highlighted the innovative security and election administration work states, counties and municipalities were doing to prepare for the 2018 elections on November 6th. They continue to work to prepare for 2020 and beyond.

Nov 02 , 2018
When Hillary Hall started her job as a county clerk in 2007, Judd Choate, Director of the Division of Elections for the Colorado Department of State, says she already had years of experience under her belt as an election judge and an election activist. Hall’s enthusiasm led her to explore better ways to conduct election audits.
Nov 01 , 2018
While all eyes were on Florida waiting for the results of the 2000 presidential election, there was a whole other recount happening in New Mexico. It took until November 17th before the state was called for Al Gore with a 0.06 percent margin. This squeaker election and widespread claims of errors in subsequent statewide elections prompted New Mexico to make changes in their election process, according to Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Secretary of State for New Mexico.
Oct 31 , 2018
Washington, D.C. started its election audit process in 2008, one year before the City Council passed the Omnibus Election Reform Act of 2009, which required the Board of Elections (BOE) to conduct audits. Both of these actions were triggered by a technical glitch with the elections in 2008.
Oct 31 , 2018
Connecticut has been conducting post-election audits for more than a decade. The state’s General Assembly passed a bill in 2007 requiring the Board of Elections to conduct a manual audit of the votes recorded in the voting districts in the state, district or municipality.
Oct 29 , 2018
Our right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. As citizens, we must be able to trust that our election process is secure and accurately reflects the will of the voters. One emerging trend that ensures voter confidence are post-election audits.
Oct 26 , 2018
Prince William County made national headlines in 2012 for its three-to-four hour waits on Election Day. Many polls stayed open until nearly 11 p.m. “That is not what we want to be known for,” said Michele White, Director of Elections and General Registrar for Prince William County Office of Elections. To get a handle on the issue, the Office of Elections studied data and demographics specific to Prince William County voters.
Oct 25 , 2018
The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) of 2002 established a clear mandate to ensure that Americans with disabilities be given the same opportunity to vote freely and independently as other voters. The bill contains landmark provisions requiring the secure, private and independent casting of ballots for voters with disabilities.
Oct 24 , 2018
There are more than 1.3 million members of the uniformed services stationed away from home with 700,000 family members and 5.7 million U.S. citizens living overseas. Depending on their circumstances, they can experience significant challenges when attempting to cast a ballot. Access to regular postal service, computers, even pen and paper can be a challenge when you are on the front lines or living in a remote region of the world.
Oct 23 , 2018
When you are talking about languages, things are not as simple as they seem. Native Alaskans make up about 20 percent of the state’s population. Within that community, there are 20 official native languages and within those, multiple sub-dialects, according to Indra Arriaga, the Elections Language Assistance Compliance Manager for the Alaska Division of Elections (DOE). “These languages are like Russian nesting dolls, with numerous dialects depending on the region.”
Oct 22 , 2018
The right to vote is a time honored American right. But for some, that right is harder to exercise than for others. Those with disabilities can feel disenfranchised due to basic hurdles, such as curbs and doorways, or the ability to see and handle a ballot. Others may be challenged by a language barrier. And still others who are serving our country through the military, or live overseas, could be challenged due to lack of easy access to a post office or computer.
Oct 19 , 2018
New Jersey is embarking on a pilot program to begin the process of replacing its current voting equipment. The Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) Pilot Program will allow counties to purchase or lease and test new VVPAT voting systems. “This pilot program will provide local jurisdictions with the opportunity to try out the equipment in a real election,” says Robert Giles, the director of the Division of Elections.
Oct 18 , 2018
Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, leaving death and destruction in its wake that island residents are still facing today. But one bright spot in this devastation was the efforts of the staff at the Puerto Rico State Elections Commission.
Oct 17 , 2018
Vermont has always used voter-marked paper ballots. So when the state started to explore replacing voting equipment, there was no question the new system would continue to be paper-based, according to Secretary of State Jim Condos. In August 2018, in advance of the primary elections, Vermont acquired a new state-of-the-art accessible voting system for every polling place in the state. The equipment allows voters with disabilities to vote privately and independently, a requirement of the Help Ame
Oct 16 , 2018
Michigan is one of the few states working with all new voting equipment for the November 2018 elections.
Oct 15 , 2018
The voting machine is the one ‘hands-on’ piece of equipment that most voters interact with during the election process. Whether it be an optical scanner or a direct recording electronic (DRE) machine, the quality and reliability of that equipment is a critical component to a safe, secure election process.
Oct 12 , 2018
Wild, Wonderful and Innovative. In the world of cybersecurity, West Virginia is taking big leaps and experimenting with new ideas to make their elections safe, secure and accessible.
Oct 11 , 2018
“Cybersecurity is not new for the state of Florida,” says Maria Matthews, Division Director of Elections at the Florida Department of State (DOS). Even prior to the 2016 elections, Florida upgraded to state-of-the-art hardware, software and firewalls to safeguard voter information in the Florida Voter Registration System (FVRS) and prevent any possible hacking attempts from being successful.
Oct 10 , 2018
Secretary Pate has taken numerous steps to bolster election security in Iowa. In May of this year, he announced the formation of the Iowa Election Security Working Group. The group includes the U.S. and Iowa Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, the Iowa National Guard, county auditors and information technology specialists, Iowa’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, and other entities.
Oct 09 , 2018
New York is dedicating 100 percent of its 2018 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Funds to enhance cybersecurity in its election process. As part of this commitment to cybersecurity, the New York State Board of Elections developed a cybersecurity plan in May 2018 to further strengthen cyber protections for New York's elections infrastructure.
Oct 08 , 2018
Ever since the 2016 elections, the news is filled with speculation about potential threats to our electoral process, the cornerstone of our democracy. From nation-state actors to criminals, politically motivated groups and terrorists, there is a plethora of bad actors who reportedly could try to infiltrate our elections. This reality has prompted states and the federal government to focus even more attention and resources on the security of our election process.
Oct 05 , 2018
Every year is an election year in Washington state. Washingtonians vote on everything from the president and their representatives in Congress down to state representatives, cemetery district commissioners, tax levies, bonds, and initiatives.
Oct 04 , 2018
Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea was Deputy Secretary of State in 2004 when she combined the state’s 39 municipal voter lists into a central voter registration system with online access. That effort was possible thanks to the first infusion of Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grants.
Oct 02 , 2018
Dean says the primary goal of those interfering in our elections is to undermine people’s faith in the system. So not only is it vital for us to secure our electoral systems, but we must also share accurate information with the voting public about how the process works and the security measures we have in place. False information being spread, either wittingly or unwittingly, accomplishes the goals of those who are interfering with our elections.
Oct 02 , 2018
North Carolina was ahead of the game before the 2018 Help America Vote Act (HAVA) funds were approved in March. The State Board of Elections was already engaged in a process to revamp its statewide election information management (SEIMS) and voter registration systems. But with the HAVA funds, the state is getting the extra financial resources it needs to move the process along in an expedited fashion.
Oct 01 , 2018
Registering to vote is the first step for voters to engage in our democracy. The systems election officials use to process and manage voter registrations, such as voter registration databases, online voter registration portals, and electronic poll books (e-poll books), are critical pieces of states’ election infrastructure.
Sep 27 , 2018
The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) is launching #Countdown18, a blog series that will highlight the innovative work states, counties and municipalities are doing to prepare for the 2018 elections on November 6th. The series will run throughout the month of October until Election Day.