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Securing Voter Rolls and Systems

The Help America Vote Act requires every state have a single voter registration list. The Arizona Secretary of State is responsible for overseeing the statewide voter registration system. Arizona launched a new voter registration system in early 2020, replacing an antiquated system. The following information is from the Secretary of State’s website on how they keep the voter registration system secured:

  1. System Access
    Only authorized state and county elections officials have access to the Arizona Voter Information Database (AVID), and all authorized users are required to log in using multifactor authentication.

  2. Environment and Hosting
    The Azure Government Cloud offers Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection with Always-On Traffic Monitoring and Real Time threat mitigation. All of AVID is monitored using advanced security threat detection that protects against SQL injections, unusual location access, and brute force attacks. Further, data is protected in transit using TLS encryption as well as being encrypted when the data is at rest.

  3. Logging and Monitoring of All Database Traffic
    Any modification to a Voter record in AVID is logged for auditing purposes.

  4. Disaster Prevention and Recovery
    Security scans of all system assets are performed on a routine basis to ensure any potential vulnerabilities are identified. Data backups occur on a per minute basis and are stored for a set amount of time along with regular weekly and monthly backups which are stored for longer periods.

  5. Adherence to Industry Standards
    AVID was designed to meet the National Institute of Standards and Technology security controls and associated assessment procedures defined in NIST SP 800-53 Revision 4 Recommended Security Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations.

  6. Security Awareness Training for County Users
    County users receive security awareness training through the Secretary of State’s overall election security training exercises and monthly meetings.

  7. Arizona also follows voter registration list maintenance in accordance with federal and state laws. The State participates in the Electronic Registration Information Center to assist in maintaining the accuracy of the state’s voter registration rolls.


    Securing Election Equipment

    First and foremost, Arizona utilizes paper ballots. Regardless of how a person casts their ballot, whether it’s an early ballot, provisional ballot, regular ballot at the polls or using accessible voting equipment, there is always a paper trail that indicates the voter’s selections.

    Second, Arizona law prohibits voting machines from being connected to the internet. All elections systems are air-gapped, which means they are never connected to the internet or to other networks.

    Counties may only use election equipment that has been certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and the Secretary of State Equipment Certification Advisory Committee. Click here to see what equipment is currently being utilized.

    Counties have been utilizing HAVA funds to purchase new equipment, increase cyber and physical security of their elections systems and increase security measures surrounding their facilities.

    Elections officials have engaged in increased security awareness training, especially focused on cyber threats and incident responses. Arizona also participated in an election cybersecurity policy academy hosted by the National Governors Association.

    Arizona election procedures have several checks and balances built into the system to continually monitor and verify election activities. This includes hand counts, post-election audits, chain of custody procedures and physical and cyber security measures.

    For more information on election security protocols, please review the Elections Procedures Manual.