A group of state officials voted to oppose a federal critical infrastructure designation covering their election systems. They’re looking to get that designation removed. The National Association of Secretaries of State voted on Feb. 18 to oppose the Department of Homeland Security’s late January designation of state election systems as federally protected “critical infrastructure.” The designation puts election systems on similar footing as systems in the energy and financial services sectors. NASS also voted over the weekend to create a task force to work with federal agencies and stakeholders on election system cybersecurity issues. While some states, like Arizona, took DHS up on its offer to provide cybersecurity scans of some of their systems in the wake of attempted hacks into state voter registration systems, others are very wary of letting federal agencies into state-managed facilities for fear of, or the impression of, federal influence or management.
During the recent NASS winter meeting, Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill called the DHS designation “a broad new role for the federal government” and said she was still looking for a written guidance from the agency on what the designation means.
Those concerns, Kay Stimson, NASS director of communications told FCW on Feb. 22, led to the resolution. States, she said, aren’t bound by the document, but the organization wants to signal to the new administration that the designation isn’t necessary. “We want to send a loud and clear message to rescind the designation,” she said.
Full Article: States balk at election system move by DHS — FCW.