Secretary of State Padilla Testimony on Election Cybersecurity

September 12, 2019 posted by


You know the topic of the hearing today
as you’re articulated Mr. Chairman is voting systems in California or
elections infrastructure. Is it secure or not? Was it breached/compromised in 2016
or not? And the answer is no. Vocabulary is important because public perception is just as important as the reality of what did or did not happen in 2016. Inaccurate or misleading stories about cyber threats do a great disservice. It undermines the confidence that people should have in our election systems. Since the 2016 election conducted an agency-wide security audit, identified high risk systems, decommission them and replaced them. We replaced obsolete devices
and upgraded firewalls. We increased 24/7 monitoring and alert capabilities. We strengthened agency policies to harden procedures and processes related to security. We implemented additional security tools to detect and prevent malware and viruses. We enhanced the security of our servers. We’ve hosted cybersecurity training for
county elections officials, and we added redundancies to our systems to mitigate the impact of potential outages. And, we increasingly work with federal, state, and local partners including but not limited to the Department of Homeland Security,
the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the California Department of Technology, the California Office of Emergency Services, the California Highway Patrol to share
information and best practices. The Governor has proposed a hundred and thirty four million dollars in the budget for the replacement of voting
systems requiring a County a match, so we’re talking fully leveraged two
hundred and sixty eight million dollars to upgrade and replace voting
equipment in the State of California. That’s a great start. Investing in new voting equipment is the most immediate and urgent need to secure our elections. So I ask for your support, of the state investment in new voting systems and to support ongoing state support for state and county elections officials The integrity of our democracy clearly
depends on our ability to guard against cyber threats and communicating clearly
and responsibly with the public. State and local officials will remain vigilant as the 2018 elections gear up. We’re 91 days from election day, but anticipated cyber
threats require the mobilization and leadership of the entire government. Thank you for your partnership and willingness to support our efforts to improve California’s election cybersecurity, and thank you.

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