The Importance of Modern and Secure Voter Registration and Election Management Systems

As a result of increased voter apprehension – regarding security and validity of election results – since the presidential election of 2016, it is critical Elections Offices across the United States instill confidence through the implementation of modernized, secure registration systems. Compounded with the impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is paramount for states to utilize highly adaptable, usable, and secure systems that meet the changing landscape to rely less on in-person voting related activities.

With many Voter Registration Systems built on aging technology platforms (referred to as legacy applications), there is an increased need to upgrade and modernize these systems. With improvements to securing data, access to important voter information, and usability of the systems (e.g., updating voter registration information), voters can feel confident when they cast their ballots for local, state, and presidential elections.

Modernizing Legacy Applications

Website Modernization icon graphic

Website Modernization icon graphicBenefits of modernization of legacy applications primarily focus on scalability. By improving the scalability of a website, this allows for a higher volume of website traffic without issues as well as enables states to implement functional changes if electoral laws are updated. Modernization also improves any interfaces with other state agency systems, for example a state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. More modern applications additionally help improve the user experience and increase a website’s accessibility so that any user can easily interact with and access all relevant information located on that website.

Modern systems that allow for access on a smartphone or tablet may help drive voter turnout among younger demographics. Additionally, systems that support multiple languages allow for an even larger population of users to access information as it relates to their voting and election needs. The County of Los Angeles, for example, the single largest election jurisdiction in the USA, has over seven million voters and nine mandatory languages.

Securing Voter Registration Systems

The Canton Group has authored a white paper titled "Securing Voter Registration Systems” and distributes this paper freely as a public service.

“If we learned anything, I think, through 2016 and the Russian interference with our elections, it’s no single organization, no single state, no locality can go at this problem alone.”

CHRISTOPHER C. KREBS
Former Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

Our white paper offers best practices for securing voter registration systems including the use of a Security Operations Center (SOC), complete cloud security posture management, enforcing security policies, identifying, and responding to threats faster, security at the pace of development operations, managing permissions before they are exploited, and reducing compliance cost and complexity.

Furthermore, our white paper addresses the need to;

  • Select a monitoring tool or partner to perform self-assessments,
  • Identify assets,
  • Identify threats and vulnerabilities,
  • Access the current state,
  • Evaluating risks,
  • Assigning ownership,
  • Documenting the results, and
  • Preparing a Cybersecurity Response Plan

For more information related to voter modernization and security, access our white paper.