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May 23, 2018

CSG Election Cybersecurity Advisory Group Discusses Strategies
for States

LEXINGTON, KY—The CSG Election Cybersecurity Advisory Group met in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 22, to discuss collaborative strategies to help state and local leaders as they work to secure elections. The group includes state and local government officials and experts in cybersecurity, information technology, and election administration, as well as other stakeholders.
“Cybersecurity, especially in elections, is critical,” said Brad Steele, director of unified communications for the commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Technology Services and Security, treasurer of the National Association of State Technology Directors—or NASTD—and a member of the advisory group. “Our NASTD members are committed to election cybersecurity and ensuring state policymakers are armed with the best information on this topic. I look forward to working with CSG and contributing to this effort on behalf of NASTD, and also to bringing valuable information and recommendations back to the states participating in NASTD.”
CSG partnered with the Democracy Fund to create the advisory group, which will select eight states to be included in a consortium to be convened in late summer 2018. At the consortium, states will map their election processes and develop incident response communication protocols for election cybersecurity breaches. This work will be done in collaboration with cybersecurity experts to learn about problems surrounding election cybersecurity, and to develop state solutions and best practices.
“This effort represents a unique opportunity to bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to tackle a critical concern for policymakers and develop practical solutions,” said Kamanzi Kalisa, who leads election policy efforts at CSG. “CSG is excited to be leading this initiative with the support of the Democracy Fund and to have the chance to work with such a distinguished group of experts.”
Noah Praetz, director of elections for the Cook County, Illinois, Clerk’s Office, also recognizes the powerful potential of key stakeholder groups working together to improve intergovernmental security strategies. Praetz serves as co-chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Elections Infrastructure Coordinating Council, as an executive board member of the International Association of Government Officials, and co-chair of the Cyber Security Working Group at the Election Center.
“Local election officials serving at the county, city or town level bear most of the risk in protecting the nation’s election systems,” Praetz said. “As we are fortifying against threats, learning to detect breaches and responding to them quickly, it’s apparent that a coordinated effort with state level officials is absolutely critical as state level technology and security experts are incredible force multipliers for local election officials.
“I look forward to working with CSG on this project as I believe, by working together, we can help model a coordinated election security approach that will serve the entire country well over the coming years.”
An overview of the CSG Election Cybersecurity project is available here


The Council of State Governments is our nation’s only organization serving all three branches of state government. CSG is a region-based forum that fosters the exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy. This offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.