Office of Elections Cybersecurity Approved by Legislature

For immediate release:

SACRAMENTO – Today the Legislature approved Assembly Bill 3075, authored by Assemblymember Marc Berman (D-Palo Alto), to establish the Office of Elections Cybersecurity (OEC) within the Secretary of State’s office.

“Attempts by Russia and other foreign entities to undermine public confidence in our nation’s elections cannot be ignored. AB 3075 is an important step to ensuring that state and county elections officials have the information and the tools necessary to combat cyber-attacks. Given the ongoing and increasingly sophisticated threats posed to our elections systems, it is crucial for California to take all necessary steps to defend our democracy,” said Berman.

On March 7, 2018, the Assembly Elections and Redistricting Committee and the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee held a joint informational hearing on cybersecurity and California elections. Expert witnesses emphasized the importance of information sharing and coordination between government agencies as well as developing strategies to counteract false or misleading information that may suppress voter participation or otherwise undermine the integrity of elections.

Under the bill, the OEC would be tasked with these responsibilities in addition to developing best practices for protecting election infrastructure from cyber threats, identifying resources available to state and county elections officials, and advising the Secretary of State on election cybersecurity issues.

Assemblymember Berman and Senator Henry Stern (D-Canoga Park) successfully advocated for $2 million in the California 2018-19 Budget to fund the Office of Elections Cybersecurity.

The bill now awaits Governor Brown’s signature.

Contact: Kaitlin Curry, (916) 319-2024