Efforts to boost public confidence in U.S. elections are proceeding on two parallel tracks right now. One is moving slowly, but steadily. The other is hardly moving at all. Most of the attention has gone to a commission set up by President Trump to look into allegations of voter fraud and other electoral problems. The panel — called the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity — has been mired in controversy ever since it was formed earlier this year. Its work now appears stalled amid internal divisions and outside legal challenges. But as that panel limps along, several other efforts to address threats to U.S voting are making progress. This month, the federal government and state and local election officials met in Atlanta to start the process of sharing more information about potential threats and pooling security resources.
… It’s one of several such efforts. Harvard University’s Belfer Center has also launched a project called ‘”Defending Digital Democracy.” It held a tabletop exercise last month with election officials that simulated an Election Day attack. The group plans to issue a “playbook” to help election administrators and others respond to such threats. A coalition that includes the Center for Internet Security and the Atlantic Council is working on a similar handbook of election cybersecurity “best practices.”
Also last month, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, along with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, announced an overhaul of voluntary guidelines to be used by states when purchasing new voting equipment. The goal is to improve security and reliability of the equipment.