CHARLESTON, W.Va. - West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner has been invited to attend and to share the Mountain State’s election success story at the National Election Security Summit on September 10-11 in St. Louis, Mo.
The goal of the event, hosted at the World Wide Technology’s global headquarters, is to discuss best practices with state and federal elections officials as well as security and technology professionals.
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Election Assistance Commission and Elections Infrastructure-Information Sharing and Analysis Center will be present at the event.
“This is a great way to assist other states by sharing the good things West Virginia has done to be recognized as a national leader on this issue”, Secretary Warner said.
“We take election security very seriously and will do whatever it takes to protect one of our greatest institutions.”
In July, Secretary Warner brought together more than 160 county clerks and local election officials from throughout West Virginia for a historic and unique Elections Security and Preparations Training Conference.
Held in Morgantown, that conference focused on security for West Virginia’s election systems and voting equipment.
The conference received national media attention, with HBO’s Vice News headline reading, “2 days of the most advanced election security training just went down—at a West Virginia Holiday Inn.”
DHS cybersecurity expert Matt Masterson attended the West Virginia conference and addressed the group as the keynote speaker, taking lessons learned from West Virginia to share with other states.
As for election security, West Virginia mandates a voter verified paper trail on all voting equipment. Pre-election logic and accuracy tests of every tabulation device is performed publically before every election.
Post-election audits are performed randomly in each county to ensure the paper records match the electronic results.
A partnership between Secretary Warner and Major General James Hoyer of the West Virginia National Guard has resulted in a full-time Guard member with Top Secret clearance to monitor state-level cyber activity and provide election security recommendations
Additionally, West Virginia now has four staff members with Department of Homeland Security clearances.
The Mountain State is also a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, another communication channel to prevent cybersecurity threats against protected systems.
Inspecting polling places and elections storage facilities and working closely with all 55 county clerks ensures any potential issue are detected early on.
When federal aid became available, a cost-sharing initiative with counties was presented as the best way to spend the money, with county clerks and county commissioners identifying their specific needs on a case-by-case basis.
Additionally, the Secretary is currently working to distribute $6.5 million in federal funding to counties to upgrade voting technology including voting machines, security for voting equipment and cybersecurity upgrades.
West Virginia’s portion of money allocated by Congress through the “Help America Vote Act” (HAVA) will help address election needs at the local level.
Read more about West Virginia’s election security efforts at www.SecureElectionsWV.com.
Watch HBO’s video coverage of the Morgantown conference on HBO Vice Video.
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