Mar 10, 2020 - Technology
What Matters 2020

DHS official claims 2020 will be "most secure" election in U.S. history

Homeland Security CISA Director Christopher Krebs

Christopher Krebs, Homeland Security CISA director. Photo: Cheriss May

The 202o election will be "the most secure, most protected election in the history of the United States of America," Christopher Krebs, the director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said at an Axios event on Tuesday.

Why it matters: State and local officials, even before the start of party primaries, have voiced concerns that outside interference could disrupt elections in 2020. The recent outbreak of coronavirus has also impacted some state primaries.

"People need to keep in mind that [election security] is something that we've been plugging away at for a long time. Get out there and vote. That's the best defense against any sort of interference."
— Christopher Krebs

What he's saying: Krebs said the Trump administration is working with state and local election officials to develop contingencies for elections in communities affected by the virus.

  • Krebs said the administration has considered how a pandemic may impact elections and suggested that states use alternatives to in-person voting — such as voting by mail — to prevent the virus from spreading further during the election season.
  • "There's no evidence that licking an envelope transmits [coronavirus]," Krebs said, adding that the administration has consulted with the CDC about this. "The show must go on."

The big picture: Intelligence officials warned members of Congress in February that Russia is actively interfering in the 2020 election.

  • Democratic Party chairs in Washington, the state with the largest number of U.S. deaths to date, have held conversations about how to deal with coronavirus and its potential effects on early voting contests.

Go deeper: The ballot box as a battlefield

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