Texas counties keep elections secure

Published 11:30 pm Friday, February 28, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

AUSTIN — As Texans go to the polls March 3, Texas county election officials want to assure voters they are taking precautions to ensure the integrity of every vote cast.

In Texas, the county government conducts most elections, from local to national polling, in their respective counties. County election officials have implemented new, state-mandated procedures to increase election security and transparency. These precautions include enhanced candidate information and election results reporting requirements. Counties also must complete annual training and adhere to a specific process for breach notification and remediation.

“Texas county clerks, elections administrators, and voter registrars manage elections from the school board to the U.S. president,” said TAC Executive Director Susan M. Redford. “We’ve all heard the warnings of attacks on our voting systems. Texans can be reassured that our county clerks and other election officials strive to improve voter confidence in the election process, having worked with the state to implement procedures that make their preparation and Election Day work more transparent and secure.” 

Last year, the Texas Legislature passed House Bill 1421, which added cybersecurity requirements to the Election Code (Chapter 279). HB 1421 added best practices for reducing the risk of electronic vote tampering and other cybersecurity measures. The law requires county election officials to take annual cybersecurity training and request a cybersecurity assessment of their county’s election system by the Texas Secretary of State Elections Division.

“This year we implemented tightened safety measures to make sure our elections are more secure,” said Hays County Elections Administrator Jennifer Anderson. “We were one of the first counties to complete the state’s election security assessment. Our focus was on the security of our voting equipment, chain of custody and facilities, particularly on equipment storage when it is not in use.”