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Virginia State Board of Elections approves election security standards

On Nov. 18, the Virginia State Board of Elections (SBE) unanimously passed minimum security standards for all Virginia elections administrators to follow beginning next year. In 2019, the General Assembly passed HB 2178; this legislation called for new, modern cybersecurity standards that must be met throughout the Commonwealth before systems are allowed to access Virginia’s election database. Since July, the Department of Elections along with a workgroup comprised of local government IT professionals and general registrars have met to compose a list of standards that will help to ensure the integrity of Virginia’s voter registration system.

These new minimum security requirements for election administrators include, but are not limited to: setting new standards for creating secure passwords, requiring an increased emphasis on utilizing anti-virus protection on their election systems, and developing and training on incident response plans.

These standards will be updated on an annual basis to keep up with changing technology and emerging cybersecurity threats.