Statement by Director Rodriguez Concerning the Cybersecurity of New Jersey’s Election Systems

The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP), through its New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC), is constantly collaborating with federal, state and local authorities, as well as other third parties, on securing New Jersey’s voter registration and election systems. Recent reports of breaches to Arizona’s and Illinois’ online voter registration systems underscore the reality that such systems are enduring cyber targets.

Unlike Arizona and Illinois, New Jersey does not offer its citizens the option to register to vote online, reducing the likelihood that a malicious actor could penetrate our system by accessing a public-facing website—as was the case in Arizona. In New Jersey, we require citizens to manually fill out voter registration forms and submit them to their respective county.

We are also continuously working with New Jersey’s Secretary of State’s Office, its Division of Elections, and the New Jersey Office of Information Technology to proactively assess and enhance other controls that protect New Jersey’s election processes. This includes providing advice and guidance to state and local election officials on:

  • Monitoring systems for signs of suspicious activity;
  • Conducting risk and vulnerability assessments and penetration tests;
  • Implementing network hardening controls;
  • Providing security awareness training;
  • Ensuring continuity of operations plans are in place

The NJCCIC is committed to providing cybersecurity assistance to state and local officials throughout this election cycle and beyond. To that end, the NJCCIC provides near real-time awareness of cyber threats and analysis, shares information on sound digital resilience and risk mitigation practices, and acts as a resource for cybersecurity incident reporting.

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