U.S. Election Assistance Commission
October 14, 2017

Elections Government Sector Coordinating Council Established, Charter Adopted

ATLANTA – During a meeting held today in Atlanta, members of the Elections Government Sector Coordinating Council (GCC) were assembled and the group adopted a charter to guide its operations moving forward. The GCC, which will inform how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) works with state and local jurisdictions to implement its designation of elections systems as part of the nation’s critical infrastructure, includes all U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner (EAC) commissioners. EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson and Vice Chairman Thomas Hicks are voting members, and Commissioner Christy McCormick is an ex-officio member of the GCC. The EAC chair also serves as a representative on the council’s executive committee.

“The GCC allows election officials to help shape how the DHS’s election critical infrastructure designation can produce tangible impact at the state and local levels,” said Chairman Masterson. “The EAC’s goal was to establish a sector model that provides timely information sharing and expedited state and local access to security resources. The council’s work must focus on serving the needs of election administrators across the nation and let that principle guide future steps.”

Today’s developments are an important milestones in the effort to establish a critical infrastructure subsector that can facilitate timely information sharing and coordination between election officials and the federal government on issues like cyber and physical security of the nation’s election infrastructure. The EAC has played an instrumental role in providing opportunities for state and local election officials, as well as election vendors and other key stakeholders, to interact with the DHS officials charged with leading the critical infrastructure effort. In addition to today’s gathering, the commission has co-hosted three previous meetings to lay the groundwork for today’s actions. It has also independently hosted other gatherings and meetings throughout the year where stakeholders heard directly from DHS and had the opportunity to pose critical infrastructure questions.

Members of the GCC include:

Lori Augino, Director of Elections, Washington

Mary Brady, National Institute of Science and Technology (ex-officio)

Chris H. Chambless, Elections Director, Clay County, Florida

Judd Choate, Director of Elections, Colorado*

Jim Condos, Secretary of State, Vermont

Edgardo Cortes, Commissioner, Virginia Department of Elections

Bob Giles, Director, Division of Elections, New Jersey

Mark Goins, Coordinator of Elections, Tennessee

Ricky Hatch, Clerk/Auditor, Weber County, Utah

Thomas Hicks, Vice Chairman, U.S. Elections Assistance Commission

Sarah Johnson, City Clerk, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Neal Kelley, Registrar of Voters, Orange County, California

Bob Kolasky, Acting Deputy Under Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security*

Connie Lawson, Secretary of State, Indiana

Linda Lamone, Administer of Elections, Maryland State Board of Elections

Matthew Masterson, Chairman, U.S. Election Assistance Commission*

Christy McCormick, Commissioner. U.S. Election Assistance Commission (ex-officio)

Denise Merrill, Secretary of State, Connecticut

Paul Pate, Secretary of State, Iowa

Noah Praetz, Director of Election, Cook County, Illinois*

Steve Reed, Probate Judge, Montgomery County, Alabama

Tom Schedler, Secretary of State, Louisiana

Steve Simon, Secretary of State, Minnesota

David Stafford, Supervisor of Elections, Escambia County, Florida

Maggie Toulouse Oliver, Secretary of State, New Mexico

Todd Valentine, Co-Executive Director, New York State Board of Elections

Linda von Nessi, Clerk of the Essex County Board of Elections, New Jersey

Mac Warner, Secretary of State, West Virginia

Michael Winn, Director of Elections, Travis County, Texas

(*EIS GCC Executive Committee Member)

The GCC structure is a well-established component of DHS’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Advisory Council program. More information about this structure can be found in the EAC’s report Starting Point: U.S. Election Systems as Critical Infrastructure.

U.S. Election Assistance Commission
September 1, 2017

Election Critical Infrastructure Subsector Plans Progress During Recent Meetings

Washington, DC -- Last week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held meetings planned in coordination with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to further discuss and develop the Election Critical Infrastructure Subsector partnership framework. The meetings were held in conjunction with the Election Center National Conference and the National Association of State Election Directors Summer Conference in Orange County, Calif. 

On Monday, August 21, the Elections Critical Infrastructure Working Group (EICWG), a precursor to the Election Critical Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council, met for the second time to follow-up on initial discussions that took place in Albany, NY in late July 2017.  The EICWG is comprised of national security and election stakeholders from across the nation. It is focused on continuing to develop the election infrastructure subsector partnership framework to include national strategic objectives, governance guidance, information sharing protocols and other related partnership objectives.

The meeting was attended by DHS leadership, EAC commissioners, and representatives from National Association of Secretaries of State, Election Center, International Association of Government Officials, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Association of State Election Directors. Representatives from the EAC’s Board of Advisors, Standards Board and Technical Guidelines Development Committee also participated. Among the attendees were state and local election officials from 12 states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Washington.

“As elections continue to take place across the nation and election officials prepare for the 2018 federal election, it is imperative for there to be a means for the nation's election officials to receive actionable information and intelligence regarding the security of their election systems,” said EAC Chairman Matthew Masterson. “The group made significant progress during these past two meetings and I look forward to finalizing a process to serve election officials for 2018.”

On Wednesday, August 23, the EAC, in conjunction with DHS, hosted a Sector Coordinating Council listening session to provide election system vendors with information about the National Infrastructure Protection Plan partnership framework and how non-governmental partners will participate in this effort going forward. The session lasted two-hours and included discussions about subsector developments to date, prospective roles within the partnership and proposed activities moving forward.  An additional and more broadly scoped listening sessions for non-governmental partners is expected to take place in October or November 2017.

For more information, contact Brenda Bowser Soder at bsoder@eac.gov.

Contact: Brenda Bowser Soder