SEC Holds Election Security and Technology Workshop

Posted on: Wed, 08/08/2018 - 16:33 By: cwhitmire

Topics include election infrastructure security, voting system implementation and auditing methods

COLUMBIA, S.C. (August 8, 2018) – The S.C. State Election Commission (SEC) concluded its 2018 Election Security and Technology Workshop today in Columbia, S.C.  Approximately 150 election officials and county information technology staff from all 46 counties in the state attended the two-day workshop.  Attendees received valuable cybersecurity information and training, viewed the latest in voting system technologies and learned how other states are using paper ballot audits to confirm election results.

“South Carolina has a strong election security team made up of federal, state and private partners.  This workshop brings the knowledge and experience of that team together with county election and IT professionals,” said Marci Andino, SEC Executive Director.  “While we continually assess, test and improve our cyber and physical security protections, training and education are essential to having a strong security posture.”

Officials from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) led many of the speaking sessions and carried out an engaging tabletop cybersecurity training exercise to raise awareness about how to defend against cyberattacks and improve the overall security of South Carolina’s election infrastructure.

“The Department of Homeland Security values our partnership with state and local election officials in S.C. as we work together to improve the security of the election process,” said Matt Masterson, Senior Cybersecurity Advisor at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. “This week’s training and table top exercises are just a couple examples of the work DHS is doing with the State of South Carolina to make elections more resilient.”

Speakers covered topics that included election infrastructure security, cyber threat detection, cybersecurity assessments, incident response planning and information sharing.   In addition to DHS, speakers participated from the Election Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center; the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council; the S.C. Law Enforcement Division; the S.C. Department of Administration; Soteria, LLC; the Maryland State Board of Elections; the New Jersey State Board of Elections; the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s InfraGard program; and the S.C. State Election Commission.

As part of the SEC’s ongoing efforts to replace the state’s voting system in 2019 with a system that includes a paper backup of voted ballots, vendors were invited to present and exhibit paper ballot-based voting system solutions.  Voting system vendors in attendance were Clear Ballot, Dominion Voting Systems, Election Systems & Software, and Hart InterCivic.  Attendees also learned how the Maryland State Board of Elections audits paper ballot records to ensure the accuracy of election results.

For more information on the South Carolina State Election Commission and other items related to voter registration and elections, visit scVOTES.org.