Secretary Gorbea Testifies Before Congressional Task Force on Election Security

PROVIDENCE, RI – Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea testified before a
Congressional Task Force on Election Security about the challenges facing states in
securing their elections infrastructure, readily available solutions, and what the
federal government can do to assist.

“Over the past three years I’ve made it a priority to invest in and modernize Rhode
Island’s elections infrastructure to improve the security of our elections,”
Secretary Gorbea said. “But investments in hardware and software cannot be used
effectively if government doesn’t have the human resources that can manage and
operate them. It is essential we also build the capacity of the public sector to
manage and respond to cyber threats in our elections.”

Last week, Secretary Gorbea convened over 100 local elections and IT officials for a
Cybersecurity Summit at Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island. The
three-hour forum provided a technical overview of how elections systems work in
Rhode Island and trained attendees on best practices to help keep these systems
secure. Today, Secretary Gorbea called upon Congress to not only invest in the
cybersecurity of elections, but to also provide oversight on how to best balance
information security and the transparency needed to protect our open government.

“In order for our elections to work, Americans need to trust in the integrity of our
elections systems,” Secretary Gorbea said. “Since our founding, the United States
has been a beacon of democracy in the world. We cannot allow the public’s trust in
our government to deteriorate. As cyber threats continue to evolve and become more
sophisticated, states need additional funding and resources dedicated to the
security of elections systems.”

In addition to Secretary Gorbea, Commissioner Edgardo Cortes from the Virginia
Department of Elections presented on the importance of using paper ballots to
safeguard elections; and Commissioner Tom Hicks from the Elections Assistance
Commission spoke about the need for additional federal resources. Members of the
task force are: Congressman Robert Brady (D-PA), Co-chairman; Congressman Bennie
Thompson (D-MS), Co-chairman; Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA); Congressman James
Langevin (D-RI); Congressman Cedrick Richmond (D-LA); and Congresswoman Val Demings
(D-FL).