The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), in coordination with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Association of State Election Directors (NASED), hosted the nation’s annual election security exercise last week, bringing together federal, state, local, and private sector partners for the fourth annual Tabletop the Vote. More than 1,000 participants ran through hypothetical scenarios affecting election operations to share practices around cyber and physical incident planning, preparedness, identification, response, and recovery.
Following the exercise, CISA Director Jen Easterly, and members of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council Executive Committee including, Director of the National Risk Management Center at CISA Bob Kolasky; U.S. Election Assistance Commission Chairman Donald Palmer; NASS President Maggie Toulouse Oliver; NASED President Michelle Tassinari; and Escambia County (Florida) Supervisor of Elections David Stafford issued the following joint statement:
“Election security is achieved through proactive planning and preparedness across the election community. Tabletop the Vote 2021 gave election professionals, federal and state security partners, and private sector representatives from around the country the opportunity to discuss and share protocols and communications to ensure a coordinated effort to strengthen and protect voting processes in the United States. We remain committed to this effort and to supporting election officials, federal partners, and others who serve on the front lines of our nation’s elections.”
This year’s Tabletop the Vote included representatives from across the federal government, including CISA, the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, Department of Defense, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Department of Justice, U.S. Cyber Command, U.S. Northern Command, National Security Agency, National Guard Bureau, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Service, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. State and local officials from 45 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia participated, as well as over a dozen election security industry partners. Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas delivered opening remarks to exercise participants on Wednesday.