Elections

Election Security

The DCBOE is constantly working to keep your elections safe and secure.  Specifically, we have been doing the following:
 

 
Upgrading Our Systems
 
DCBOE has embarked on its largest Information Technology (IT) project in over two decades, which involves upgrading and modernizing the citywide voter registration system.  The goals of this project were to improve the functionality, convenience, and security of the DCBOE voter registration database.
 
Protecting Infrastructure
 
DCBOE, working closely with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has recently implemented a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system. This software identifies and categorizes any identified incidents and analyzes them. 
 
DCBOE election systems are regularly monitored to detect unauthorized access and weaknesses for the prevention of and the proper response to cyberattacks.
 
We are working with the Office of the Chief Technology Officer’s (OCTO) Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Cyber Advisory Panel and security experts to continue to harden our systems and take advantage of election security-related services offered by DHS.  Accordingly, DCBOE staff members have obtained security clearances required to participate in classified briefings on election-related issues.  DHS is also in the process of providing physical security assessments of our offices.
 
Ongoing Training
 
DCBOE provides training to full time staff in conjunction with OCTO’s cybersecurity training, and offers email phishing expedition exercises for additional preparedness.  We are also working to develop cybersecurity awareness training for election workers. 
 
Our staff has participated in nationally-recognized election cybersecurity briefings, including a table-top training exercise by the Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center. We will conduct similar trainings, mock election exercises, and issue other resources to DCBOE staff, including tabletop exercises to train election, IT, and security personnel in incident response and preparation.  This training will involve simulating scenarios that could negatively impact our voting operations.
 
Working with our Local and Federal Partners
 
DCBOE is partnering with a number of Federal agencies, to include the Center for Internet Security (CIS) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) in order to gather and share intelligence about cyber threats (such as website defacement) that target government or government-affiliated systems.
 
DCBOE also participates in CIS's Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI- ISAC), an elections-focused cyber defense suite providing additional free support and resources including forensic analyses and emergency response teams.
 
Finally, DCBOE has partnered with the leaders of the U.S. intelligence community and law enforcement agencies, such as DHS, DC Homeland Security Emergency Management Agency (DC HSEMA) the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to work on a strong and unified incident response.   We continue to share information and best practices with all of our local and Federal partners.
 
For more detailed information on all that the DCBOE is doing to secure our elections, please click here.