Read below for more details on the Key Actions the County Has Taken to Protect Our Elections:
Partnering with government agencies to expand opportunities to combat cyber threats
- The County of Santa Clara’s Registrar of Voters, along with the Secretary of State and many other cities and counties, has joined both the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) and the Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing and Analysis Center (EI-ISAC).
- The Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Department of Technology, California Office of Emergency Services and California Highway Patrol provide the Registrar of Voters information to protect elections against major physical and cyber threats. Anyone can visit the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to find out what’s happening at the national level and how to be cyber smart.
- The Offices of Elections Cybersecurity and Enterprise Risk Management within the Secretary of State share information with election officials to combat misinformation and strengthen cybersecurity in the state.
- County of Santa Clara’s Board of Supervisors together with the District Attorney, Sheriff, city clerks and local police and emergency services share information at the local level to protect physical and cyber threats to the County’s systems.
Partnering with election related service associations and organizations from national, state and county levels
- Enables open sharing of ideas and best practices and provides learning opportunities to improve engagement and awareness across the Nation.
- Staff attend yearly conferences to keep abreast of new laws and regulations, hear directly from subject-matter experts and visit other county or state facilities to gain first-hand experiences with new systems and ideas.
- Examples are the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials (CACEO), National Association of State Elections Directors (NASED), National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), National Association of Counties (NACo), US Election Assistance Commission (EAC), The Election Center, the James Irvine Foundation, the Brennan Center for Justice and the Future of California Elections (FoCE).
County of Santa Clara’s Own Assessment of the Protection of Election Infrastructure
- Continually monitor multiple security of all systems, including testing and assessing vulnerabilities.
- Study was modeled after the latest security and privacy controls for federal organizations issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
- Study resulted in upgrading firewalls and servers, increasing staff education and awareness on how to monitor and report attempts at unauthorized access, and updating physical security of voting systems and equipment. For example, new security cages are used to transport and store voting equipment in the field in a safe manner and improved chain-of-custody procedures to track and record all movement and use of sensitive election materials during multiple days of voting.
Investing in New Voting Technologies
- In 2015, the Secretary of State created new security and integrity standards that California’s voting systems must meet.
- In 2019, the Secretary of State required all California counties to begin using new voting technologies at the March 2020 Presidential Primary Election.
- In 2019, the County of Santa Clara leased new voting systems that meet the 2015 State rules, as well as the federal Voluntary Voting Systems Guidelines (VVSG) for functionality, security and ability to inspect the system before and after use. For more information about the process for reviewing voting systems at the federal level, including answers to frequently asked questions, visit the Election Assistance Commission.
For more information on voting systems standards, technology announcements, the certification and approval process, security measures, and funding resources for counties, visit the Secretary of State’s Office of Voting Systems Technology Assessment.
Click HERE for more information on the County’s new voting system.
Increasing Public Awareness and Sharing Information About How You Can Be a Mindful Voter
- Read the "Five Things I Can do to be a Mindful Voter ” and share what you’ve learned with others.
- Find out how to self-verify your registration status and track the process of your Vote by Mail ballot.
- Check out the California Secretary of State’s Vote Sure page to find out about voting in California, upcoming elections, how to contact your elections official and report misinformation.
- Read California’s Voter Bill of Rights and learn where, when and how to report disinformation and suspicious activity. California has strict penalties for those who commit political cyber fraud.
- Visit the other pages on our website and learn more about how elections work!
- Follow your local and state election officials on social media and share important information with your friends and family.
- Attend one of our hundreds of outreach events held throughout Santa Clara County each year. Check out our Calendar of Events.
- Most importantly – VOTE! The most common attempt to disrupt an election is by spreading disinformation that discourages people from participating.
Looking for other ways to get involved? Become an election worker, join a campaign, host a neighborhood voting party, or become a member of a local civic engagement organization that interests you. You can also follow us on social media at SCCvote or the California Secretary of State at CaliforniaSOS and find out what other election officials across the state are doing to protect our votes.
The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters has opportunities for a deeper more committed level of involvement through membership in advisory committees - the Language Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Voter Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Voter Education and Outreach Coalition.
Click HERE to read Frequently Asked Questions about Election Security and Administration