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Election Security

Security header imageThe Virginia Department of Elections has remained vigilant concerning the potential threats against our election infrastructure, and continues to work with our local, state, and federal partners to ensure the safety and security of our electoral process. State officials are involved in the MS-ISAC pilot project. The Department of Homeland Security and the Virginia Information Technologies Agency continues to provide various cyber services to our department, and any identified issues will be addressed appropriately.

Risk-Limiting Audits

Pursuant to Va. Code §24.2-671.2, risk-limiting audits shall be conducted annually by the local electoral boards and general registrars under the supervision of the Department and in accordance with the procedures prescribed by the State Board of Elections. A risk-limiting audit is a type of post-election audit that utilizes statistical methods and a manual review of paper ballots to confirm that the electronic voting system accurately reported the correct outcome of an election. More information can be found here.

Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Grant

The Virginia Department of Elections is making investments that will provide a more sustainable approach to improving election security in the Commonwealth. Virginia is using funds from the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) grant to help strengthen its election infrastructure.

Funds have been used for initiatives such as increasing cyber security training, increasing security for elections data, and establishing more robust certification standards for voting equipment. Agencies such as the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA) and the Center for Internet Security (CIS) have been assisted by providing information about best practices and security standards. The Department also secured a project team that put into place a security and continuity of operations plan, and helped to manage program costs.

In 2020, Budget Bill - HB30 (Item I) (https://budget.lis.virginia.gov/item/2020/1/HB30/Chapter/1/86/) has provided that federal awards from the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) under P.L. 116-93 be used to replace the Virginia Election and Registration Information System (VERIS) by July 1, 2022.

Election security is always evolving, so the Department will remain vigilant and flexible with these funds to address new and emerging threats.

These initiatives support the Department's continued efforts to work with local, state, and federal partners to ensure the safety and security of our electoral process.