Use of Federal Funding for Election Technology and Security (Follow-Up)

Issued Date
June 22, 2023
Agency/Authority
State Board of Elections

Objective

To determine the extent of implementation of the one recommendation included in our initial audit report, Use of Federal Funding for Election Technology and Security (Report 2020-S-18).

About the Program

The Board of Elections (BOE) is responsible for administering and enforcing election laws in the State. To fulfill these responsibilities, the BOE offers assistance to the 57 County Boards of Elections and the New York City Board of Elections. Congress passed the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) to help reform the nation’s voting process. HAVA established minimum election administration standards and created the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to aid in the administration of federal elections. The EAC provides funds to states to help them meet these standards and secure and improve election systems. In 2018, the EAC made the HAVA Election Security Grant (HAVA Security Grant) available to help states improve and enhance election administration, technology, and security at both the state and county levels. To receive funds, the BOE was required to submit a narrative describing its plan for spending the funds. In June 2018, the BOE received $19.5 million in HAVA Security Grant funds.

The objective of our initial audit report, issued September 17, 2021, was to determine whether the BOE utilized available funding from the HAVA Security Grant to enhance the security of the State’s election technology and infrastructure. It covered the period from May 2018 to February 2021. Overall, the audit found the BOE utilized available funding from its HAVA Security Grant to enhance the State’s election technology and infrastructure through the activities described in its ARMOR cybersecurity plan (Assess risk, Remediate vulnerabilities, Monitor Operations, and Respond to incidents). A couple of the key initiatives based on the ARMOR cybersecurity plan included assessing risks to election systems throughout the State, assisting County Boards with developing plans to address those risks, and allocating funds to reimburse County Boards for their costs to implement those plans.

Key Finding

The BOE has made significant progress addressing the issues we identified, having implemented the one recommendation contained in our initial report.

 

Nadine Morrell

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director
: Nadine Morrell
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: [email protected]
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236