Monday, January 9, 2017

DHS Designates Election Infrastructure as a Critical Infrastructure Subsector

On Friday, January 6, 2017, Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security announced that DHS has designated the US Election System as "CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE."

In the press release, Johnson noted that "Given the vital role elections play in our country, it is clear that certain systems and assets of election infrastructure meet the definition of critical infrastructure."

According to the press release, "Election Infrastructure" is defined as:

  • Storage facilities
  • Polling places
  • Centralized vote tabulation locations
  • Information and communications technology to include:
    • Voter registration databases
    • Voting machines
    • Other systems to manage the election process and report and display results on behalf of state and local governments

Johnson reiterated that this designation does not mean a federal takeover, regulation or oversight or intrusion concerning elections in the US.  The designation does not change the roles state and local governments have in administering and running elections.

However, the designation as Critical Infrastructure does mean that election infrastructure does become a priority within the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP).