Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski

Secretary Dunlap attends classified DHS briefing on security of elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap took part in a classified briefing on election security on Friday, Feb. 16, hosted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), together with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen met with the NASS Executive Board, of which Secretary Dunlap is a member, to discuss DHS’ commitment to working with state election officials on cybersecurity for the midterm elections and beyond.
In addition, DHS joined together with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to sponsor classified briefings for election officials from all 50 states. These briefings, offered on Friday and Sunday, focused on increasing awareness of foreign adversary intent and capabilities against the states’ election infrastructure, as well as a discussion of threat mitigation efforts.

The briefing coincided with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) winter conferences in Washington, D.C., at which cybersecurity was the focus of several workshops and presentations.

“Improved communications from our federal officials regarding the security of elections is most welcome,” said Dunlap. “Our combined efforts to safeguard the integrity of our democratic process should give all voters peace of mind that their voices are being heard clearly and accurately whenever they cast a ballot.”

In January 2017, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson designated U.S. elections systems as “critical infrastructure,” which enables the department to prioritize cybersecurity assistance to state and local election officials.