U.S. Election was ‘most secure in American history’ Federal Agency Says

November 13, 2020

As dedicated local elections officials continue to provide an accurate vote count, Governor Tom Wolf commended their efforts after the experts in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced in a joint statement the nation’s election was secure and there was no evidence that voting systems were compromised.

“All Pennsylvanians can have confidence in our election system and the accuracy of the vote,” said Gov. Wolf. “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s conclusion that our nation had the most secure election in history reaffirms the commitment to protecting our votes by local, state and national officials.

“Allegations of fraud and unfounded rumors of illegal activity have been repeatedly debunked. Those deliberate and false attacks are un-American and harm our democracy, and we should reject them. I thank the election and cyber security experts for verifying that our nation’s election was protected and secure.”

A statement released yesterday by government and industry members of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinate Council said, “The November 3rd election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result.”

The statement added, “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too.”

The statement was released by members of Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council (GCC) Executive Committee – Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Assistant Director Bob Kolasky, U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chair Benjamin Hovland, National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) President Maggie Toulouse Oliver, National Association of State Election Directors (NASED) President Lori Augino, and Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford – and the members of the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (SCC) – Chair Brian Hancock (Unisyn Voting Solutions), Vice Chair Sam Derheimer (Hart InterCivic), Chris Wlaschin (Election Systems & Software), Ericka Haas (Electronic Registration Information Center), and Maria Bianchi (Democracy Works).

Gov. Wolf has made election security a priority since taking office. In July 2018, the governor created the Inter-Agency Election Preparedness and Security Workgroup to ensure Pennsylvania meets the highest standards of election preparedness and integrity and to coordinate election security. The agencies include the Department of State, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Pennsylvania State Police and the offices of Administration, Governor, Homeland Security and State Inspector General.

The commonwealth also works with all 67 county boards of elections, the Pennsylvania National Guard, the Center for Internet Security and other key partners to maintain and enhance the security of Pennsylvania’s election process. Pennsylvania uses a layered set of defenses to protect its voting systems, which are never connected to the internet nor permitted on internet-facing networks.

Before the Nov. 3 general election, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar and Pennsylvania Director of Homeland Security Marcus Brown also met with Pennsylvania’s three United States Attorneys and FBI agents from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to review security and preparations.

“Thanks to the hard work of state and local officials who proactively addressed security challenges, Pennsylvania had a safe and secure election,” Gov. Wolf said. “Our dedicated local election officials continue to work tirelessly to ensure an accurate vote count, and Pennsylvanians will not be deterred or distracted from ensuring that every voter’s voice is heard.”

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