In this edition of the EAC newsletter, learn about:
The upcoming 20th Anniversary of HAVA
The EAC and NIST’s virtual workshop for End-to-End Protocols for Voting Systems on October 6 and 7
Resources for election officials on
- cybersecurity best practices
- preparing for Election Day
- educating voters on Election Day and post-election processes
HAVA turns 20 on October 29th!
On October 29th, join the EAC in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)! This historic legislation made sweeping reforms to the nation’s voting process including creating new programs and procedures for voting systems, accessibility, provisional voting, and voter registration databases.
As part of these reforms, HAVA also established the EAC to serve as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration, to adopt Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG), as well as accredit testing laboratories and certify voting systems. Additionally, HAVA charged the EAC with distributing and auditing the use of HAVA grants, which have totaled about $4.2 billion over the last 20 years.
Stay tuned for a new EAC blog series to be released this month with key insights from the “HAVA At 20: Building Trust in Elections” event, cohosted by Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy.
E2E Virtual Workshop on October 6 and 7
Software independence requirements in the Voluntary Voting System Guidelines (VVSG 2.0) call for the EAC to set up a public end-to-end (E2E) cryptographic protocol evaluation process. As part of the first steps in this process, the EAC, in collaboration with NIST, is holding a virtual workshop called, “The Path to End-to-End (E2E) Protocols for Voting Systems,” on October 6th from 1 to 5 p.m. EST and October 7th from 1 to 5 p.m. EST. This workshop will be used to discuss the plan and further develop E2E protocol requirements and evaluation criteria by covering topics such as integrity and voter confidence, security, accessibility and human factor considerations, and implementation/testing of E2E in voting systems. The workshop is open to the public, but registration is required. There will be a Q&A session at the end of each day for attendees to comment or ask questions.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month!
October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month! As technology has evolved, so have the technology-based threats to elections. The EAC and other federal agencies have created resources to help election officials combat threats to election security--from technical hardware specifics to what election officials can do to keep everything in the voting process, from registration to certification, safe and secure.
Election officials can find an overview of the EAC’s cybersecurity and general security resources on the Election Security Preparedness webpage.
Voting System Security Measures
Every state and local jurisdiction utilizes common-sense procedures and tools to safeguard the voting process that are tailored to state law and the voting system in use. The Voting System Security Measures guide outlines some of the many best practices election officials employ to secure voting systems through an election cycle. These include using locks, tamper-evident seals, security cameras, system testing before and after elections, audits, and more.
Election Official Security Materials
No one should have to face violent threats at work, but unfortunately, this is the reality for many election officials. There are proactive steps election officials can take to improve their personal security, and it is critically important to document and report every threat and develop a working relationship with federal and local law enforcement. The EAC’s Election Official Security webpage provides important information on how election officials can address threats and improve their personal safety while at work. This resource can also be helpful when communicating to voters as officials explain security measures in place in their community.
CISA Cybersecurity Toolkit
Effective election management needs to take cybersecurity into account. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released this toolkit as a quick-reference catalog of free services and tools available for state and local election officials to improve the cybersecurity and resilience of their infrastructure. The topics covered include risk assessment, tools relating to protecting aspects of the voting processes, and tools relating to protecting assets from cyber-attacks.
EAC Resources to Help Prepare for Election Day and Post-Election Day
With Election Day only weeks away, election officials can use these timely EAC resources to address commonly asked questions from new voters, answer and present information on FAQs, and educate voters with information on Election Day and post-election processes.
Voting 101 for New Voters
Election officials may find themselves regularly fielding the same questions from voters, especially those who are new to the voting process. To make it easier to address these frequently asked questions, the EAC has created a customizable resource called Voting 101 for New Voters. While the specifics may vary on the state and local level, this basic information should be helpful for all new voters. It includes answers to questions like voter eligibility, what’s needed to vote, what can be expected when voting, and what can be done to help.
Available as an editable PDF, the logo and contact information section can be edited to match the branding of your election office or agency. The EAC has additional resources election officials may use to answer questions related to topics such as registering to vote, in-person voting, voting by mail, and making a plan to vote.
Best Practices FAQ Toolkits
As Election Day approaches, voters will contact election offices more frequently with questions. The EAC’s Best Practices: FAQ toolkit is designed to assist election officials in creating or improving FAQs for their websites with state and local information. Additionally, this toolkit provides social media guides that election officials can use to quickly promote their FAQs as a trusted source of information. The toolkit includes frequently asked questions and suggested answers, infographics with voter information, and social media graphics and messaging.
Election and Post-Election Processes Toolkit
As election officials prepare for the midterm general election, this EAC toolkit was created to assist with voter education efforts and help address misconceptions about the pre- and post-election processes. This includes customizable educational materials about these processes for voters as well as templates for sharing trusted information, combatting mis- and disinformation, providing information to news media, and providing information to political parties about the post-voting process.
Election officials can find additional resources to help with voter education efforts on the results, canvass, and certification processes here on the EAC’s website.