PHOENIX – Election security was the only topic on the agenda when officials from the across the state met on Monday with Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
Hobbs convened the first Election Security Committee meeting this year with a unifying message.
“Here in our office, we are doing much more than just paying lip service to election security. We are committed to building a culture of security that will permeate every aspect of the election process,” she said.
More than 40 elections officials and staff participated in what will become regular election security meetings. These meetings occurred in past years, but were canceled prior to Hobbs taking office.
“With the Presidential Preference Election just around the corner, reinstating these meetings is a necessity,” Ken Matta, information security officer, said. “Federal authorities have designated election administration as critical infrastructure for our country, and protecting the integrity of this process will take a team effort.”
The initial meeting focused on statewide and local security goals that include:
- Conducting training exercises and sharing expertise
- Forming deeper partnerships between state and county agencies
- Providing cybersecurity support for counties based on need
- Creating education programs for the public, candidates and parties
“The only way these efforts will be successful is if they are guided by the experience of and insight from the people who live in the communities they serve,” Hobbs said. “We need the expertise of the county officials if we are going to ensure that our elections are secure and accessible.”