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Wyman lauds Washington’s election cybersecurity at national conference

This press release was provided by the office of Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman. 

At the invitation of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman will lead a seminar Saturday on best practices in election cybersecurity.

Wyman, whose Saturday address to the nation’s top elections officials in Philadelphia, Pa., will detail Washington’s multi-tiered elections security approach, said Friday she is honored that the state’s powerful and robust elections security measures have been cited as an example for the nation.

“In Washington, we utilize a paper-based voting system, we conduct pre-tests, post-election audits, and mandatory recounts, and we employ a multitude of other powerful measures to help ensure the security of our system,” Wyman said. “Our state is a national leader in elections security and accessibility, and security steps added by the state legislature in the 2018 session have further strengthened our already robust system.”

Prior to the 2016 election, Wyman’s office embarked on an unprecedented opportunity to collaborate with the Department of Homeland Security to ensure the security of state elections. This partnership allows elections experts and IT professionals to work hand-in-hand to assess vulnerabilities and identify mitigation plans, share information, and investigate incidents or threats.

Federal officials confirmed that Washington was targeted by suspicious foreign IP addresses during the last presidential election, but acknowledged that no breach was made. Wyman likened the incidents to burglars casing a home by checking its doors and windows, but finding the house too secure to invade.

“We have partnered with the Washington National Guard, created our own Security Operations Center, and broadened post-election audits in Washington,” Wyman added. “When the upgraded VoteWA elections system comes online in 2019, Washington will continue to be among the country’s most secure elections systems.”

Wyman is encouraging conference attendees to review an elections security fact sheet that provides greater detail about the myriad measures her office has taken to keep Washington state elections safe from intrusion.

Washington’s Office of Secretary of State oversees a number of areas within state government, including managing state elections, registering corporations and charities, and governing the use of the state flag and state seal. The office also manages the State Archives and the State Library, documents extraordinary stories in Washington’s history through Legacy Washington, oversees the Combined Fund Drive for charitable giving by state employees, and administers the state’s Address Confidentiality Program to help protect survivors of crime.

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