September 28, 2020
With less than 36 days before the 2020 Presidential election, the Election Infrastructure Sector Coordinating Council (EI-SCC) would like to echo and amplify a critical message to the American public recently made by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), along with state and local election officials from every state in the nation, regarding the need for patience as election officials process ballots, count votes, and determine the outcome of elections in their states.
Election officials are working harder than ever this year to accommodate safe voting practices during the ongoing COVID 19 crisis, including making preparations to count a larger than usual number of mail ballots. More mail ballots will mean that additional time is required in many localities to physically process the ballots, as several states do not allow processing of these ballots to begin until Election Day. In addition, many states allow ballots to be received and counted after November 3, so long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
Results reported on Election Night, whether in a presidential election or otherwise, are always unofficial results. Media outlets and other organizations often project election results the same day, using unofficial vote tallies. In reality, individual State processes for verifying every ballot for the certified result can take up to 30 days, even under normal circumstances.
As CISA Director Christopher C. Krebs told event attendees at the Black Hat Information Security Conference earlier this year, delayed results will be a sign of careful counting — not of nefarious motives and widespread fraud.
The EI-SCC Executive Committee strongly reiterates this message and encourages the voting public to exercise patience and allow the official vote tallying and certification processes play out as intended in every State. Remember to rely on state and local election officials as your trusted sources for official election results.
2020 EI-SCC Executive Committee
Brian Hancock, Chair (Unisyn Voting Solutions)
Sam Derheimer, Vice Chair (Hart InterCivic)
Ericka Haas, (ERIC) Maria Bianchi, (Democracy Works)
Chris Wlaschin, (ES&S)
About the EI-SCC
The Election Infrastructure Subsector Coordinating Council (EI SCC) for private sector election providers was established in February 2018 to advance the physical security, cyber security, and emergency preparedness of the nation’s election infrastructure. The Council consists of over thirty companies and nonprofits responsible for developing, deploying, protecting and defending our nation’s critical voting infrastructure. SCC members provide key components to the functioning of elections, such as voter registration, tabulation, election night results reporting, and ballot printing. With support and sponsorship of the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), SCC members work in collaboration with state and local elections authorities to plan, prepare, and share vital information critical to the conduct of elections.